NAIROBI, June 26 – Reigning national champion Elizabeth Muthoka smashed a 23 year old national record in day one of the national athletics champions at Nyayo national stadium on Thursday.
The Kenya Prisons athlete posted 51.4 seconds to break Ruth Waithera’s 400 metres record of 51.56 seconds set way back in 1984 during the Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
Muthoka was trailing Joyce Zakary as they reached the 300 metre mark but she then powered forward to break one of Kenya’s longest standing records.
In the other 400 metres heats, Africa 800 metres champion Pamela Jelimo won her heat in 52.9 seconds to qualify for the final.
In the men’s 1500 metres heats, 2007 World bronze medallist Shedrack Kibet Korir won heat one to qualify for the final. The Armed Forces man clocked 3:43.7 to book a place in Saturday’s final.
Suleiman Simotwo will be looking to do better in the final after managing only fourth position in a time of 3:46.4 while Africa 1500 metres silver medallist Gideon Gahthimba finished a poor tenth in 3:52.4.
In the second heat, Abraham Chebii rolled back the years to win in 3:44.1. World junior 1500 metres silver medallist Geoffrey Rono was second after clocking 3:44.3.
No joy however for World junior champion Remmy Limo who was a disappointing sixth in 3:47.1.
National cross country 12k champion Mark Kiptoo was in impressive form easily winning his 5,000 metres heat.
The 32 year old who was the captain at this year’s World Cross Country championships took to the front with two laps to go before pulling away to win in 13:43.97.
“I was testing myself because as you know the Olympic trails are next weekend and I have to be ready,” he said adding, “At the trials I am going to run in the 10,000 metres race.”
All Africa Games 1500 metres champion Asbel Kiprop deployed his by now familiar finishing kick to comfortably win his 800 metres heat.
Jackson Kivuva who finished fourth at the Africa Athletics Championships also won his heat while in heat two Edwin Leting edged out favourite Richard Kiplagat to win.
Former World Cross country short course champion Edith Masai and Pamela Chepchumba also made it through to the final of the women’s 5,000 metres.
Action continues on Friday.