Langat, Muttai storm through heats


NEW DELHI, October 7 – Six Kenyan athletes successfully negotiated their way through the heats early Thursday as day four of the Commonwealth Games got underway in India.

Olympic 1500 metres champion Nancy Jebet Langat, Viola Kibiwott and Irene Jelagat all qualified for Friday’s final.

Kibiwott was first up in heat one staying just behind the leaders for the opening two laps. She moved into the lead in the final lap steadily pulling away to win in 4:08.76.  Helen Clitheroe of England was second in 4:09.34 with former world junior champion Stephanie Twell in third 4:10.35.

Jebet Langat and Jelegat dictated terms in the second heat from start to finish with Jelegat just slightly ahead of her more fancied compatriot. The Olympic champion took over in the final straight edging out Jelegat by the thickness of a vest. Jebet Langat clocked 4:13.62 ahead of Jelegat’s 4:13.65.

In the men’s 400 metres heats, Mark Muttai was the stand out performer winning heat four in 45.90 seconds. The army man took the lead with 100 metres to go and despite easing off in the last 50 metres he still won a with a two metre gap.

Vincent Mumo Kiilu was the first Kenyan to step on the track finishing third in heat three in 46.89 seconds. The heat was won by Andretti Bain of Bahamas in 46.19 with England’s Robert Tobin finishing in second place in a time of 46.26 secs.

The third Kenyan to go through was Geoffrey Ngeno who made it to the semis as one of teh fastest losers. The lanky athlete could only manage fourth place in heat six but his time of 47.40 was enough for him to sneak through.