Kasait won the national trials for the ongoing African Games, beating Chebet to second place but both athletes are not travelling for the continental games
Athletics Kenya will be using men and women’s 10,000m races to select the team for the Doha World Championships
With World and Olympic 1,500m champion Faith Chepng’etich opting out, the stage is open for the Continental Cup 1,500m champion Winny Chebet to defend her national 1,500m title
World Under-20 5,000m champion Beatrice Chebet and Commonwealth 5,000m silver medallist Margaret Chelimo are among the top contenders in women’s 5,000m semi-final heats slated for Tuesday as the National Athletics Championships start at the Nyayo National Stadium.
Also in contention in the women’s 5,000m semi-finals are the 2017 World Cross Country silver medallist Lilian Kasait (North Rift), World Half Marathon record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei (Kenya Defence Forces), former Africa 5,000m champion Sheila Chepkirui, Eva Cherono and Margaret Wangare.
Chebet (Nairobi), who is also the World Cross Country Under-20 champion, Chelimo, the Kenya Police 10,000m champion, and Jepkosgei will lock horns in the first semi-final that goes down at 10.20am.
Jepkosgei is fresh from winning KDF 5,000m title besides settling for second in 10,000m behind Hellen Obiri, the World 5,000m and World Cross Country champion. The heat also has the 2013 World 5,000m silver medallist Mercy Cherono, who is making a return from maternity leave.
Kasait will face Wangare, Cherono in the second semi-final. “I am ready and focused on scaling to the senior level in style,” said Chebet, the Africa Under-20 champion. “My main focus is to qualify for the World Championships in Doha.”
Kasait won the national trials for the ongoing African Games, beating Chebet to second place but both athletes are not travelling for the continental games whose athletics calendar will run from August 26 to 31 in Rabat.