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Bednarek, Ekiru, Moraa, Wanyonyi, Kibiwot, Were top at Kip Keino Classic

Ferdinand Omanyala failed to defend his 100m title at today’s 5th edition of the Kip Keino Classic, the World Athletics Continental Tour at the Nyayo National stadium.

As the last race of the event, fans had turned up in large numbers to witness the Commonwealth Games 100m champion to defend his title but he faded off to finish 5th in a race won by American Kenneth Bednarek.

Bednarek won the title in 9.91 seconds ahead of Liberia’s Emmanuel Matadi (9.99) and third position was won by Jeremiah Azu of the Great Britain at 10.00.

In the women’s 1,500m, Mary Ekiru edged out Ednah Jebitok to win the  1,500m in 4:06.26 with Jebitok in second at 4:07.22 and Ethiopian Hawi Abera completing the podium at 4:10.96.

World 800m silver medalist Emmanuel Wanyonyi won the 800m men’s title as part of his preparations for the Olympic Games.

The former world under 800m world under 20 champion said that he did not expect victory after looking at the heavy starting lineup.

“I didn’t expect to run a world lead. I wanted to test my body and I feel good. I want to maintain this form and maybe improve ahead of the Olympics trials. I want to thank fans for turning up in large numbers to cheer us. We don’t take it for granted,” said Wanyonyi.

In women’s 800m, the world 800m champion Mary Moraa retained her title while Abraham Kibiwot recorded three victories in the championships.

Moraa clocked 1:57.96 to set a new meeting record ahead of compatriots Nelly Chepchirchir (1:58.26) and Vivian Chebet completing the podium at 1:58.93 as season best.

Kibiwot reclaimed his title he lost last to make it three wins out of five meetings in the country.

On his journey to the Olympic Games in Paris, France, Kibiwot said his Olympic journey is on and starting the season with victory at home was a blessing.

He said that it was not easy to retain the title after facing a tough challenge from former World under 20 3,000m steeplechase Amos Serem who managed second position.

He won the race in a world lead of 8:20.54 ahead of Serem in 8:21.40 and a new kid Mathew Kosgei in 8:23.84 as his personal best.

Romanian Stella Rutto won the women’s water jump in 9:39.57 ahead of Kenyans Leah Jeruto (9:39.94) with another Kenyan turned Kazakhstan Daisy Jeruto completing the podium at 9:41.13.

The reigning world under 20 1,500m champion Reynold Cheruiyot won the 1,500m title beating upstart Brian Komen and Daniel Munguti to second and third respectively.

The 2023 world cross country junior silver medalist crossed the finish line in a world lead time of 3:31.96 ahead of Komen’s   3:32.29 and Munguti 3:33.71 for podium finish.

Reigning Commonwealth Games 4x400m bronze medalist Wiseman Mukhobe Were and Zablon Ekhal Ekwam won the 400m hurdles and 400m respecxtivley.

Were won with a meeting record of 48.57 ahead of compatriots Kipkorir Rotich and Edward Ngunjiri who stopped the timer at 50.38 and 50.84 for podium finish.

Ekwan won the 400m title to also make it to Paris Games in August after winning the 400m title when he clocked 44.69 to finish 4th behind Botswana’s Bayabo Ndori who won the title in 44.10, followed by American Bryce Deadmon (44.41) and third placed Leungo Scotch of Botswana in 44.54.

Fresh from winning a bronze medal at the World cross country championships in Belgrade, Serbia, Margaret Kipkemboi Chelimo managed third position at the 10,000m.

Fresh from winning bronze at the Chelimo, who is making inroads into the 10,000m managed to clock 15:19.74 behind the champion Marta Alemayo of Ethiopia who won the title in 15:14.54.

In the field, former World javelin champion Julius Yego retired early after picking an injury, failing to win the javelin title on home soil as Latvia international Gatis Cakss retained the javelin title.

The former Commonwealth Games javelin champion, who managed to throw three times, failed to continue in the second round of the throw after pulling out when he managed 72.25.

Cakss retained the title when he threw 81.74 ahead of Germany’s Thomas Rohler (80.62m) and Belgium’s Timothy Herman completed the podium at 79.94m.

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