NAIROBI, June 16, 2007 (AFP) - Kenya’s world junior cross country champion Asbel Kiprop proved his prodigious talent on Saturday when he won the men’s 1500m at the national trials to qualify for next month’s All Africa Games in Algiers.
Kiprop, who has already notched three victories at home and overseas since breaking into the scene at the world cross country championship in Mombasa in March, made a tactical late sprint to clinch a surprise victory in a strong field.
I knew I was going to win the race,'' said Kiprop, who made his move only 90 metres to the finish line. I was avoiding being brought down in the sprint finish.’’
Fellow junior athlete Tom Masinde won the 100m dash clocking 10.49 seconds - just 0.21 seconds slower than the national record he equalled at the African junior championships in Kampala on June 3.
Olympic 3,000m steeplechase champion Ezekiel Kemboi bounced back to form to win his speciality in a slow time of 8:26.2 ahead of former policeman Willy Komen who was second 8:26.5 with Elijah Chelimo (8:29.4) third.
Kemboi who has taken the services of former world record holder Moses Kiptanui as his new coach said he was already looking forward to competing in Osaka, where he would face three-time champion and former compatriot Saif Saaeed Shaheen of Qatar.
``I am going to Algeria but my main aim is to prepare well for Osaka,’’ said Kemboi, who also won the Commonwealth Games gold medal in Melbourne last year.