Athletics Athletics

Zakari makes 400m Olympics semis


NAIROBI, Kenya 3 August – Kenya’s short-distance London Olympics hopefuls produced contrasting results in the quest for qualification, with Joyce Zakari booking a surprise ticket for the 400m women semi finals on Friday.

Zakari returned a season best of 51.85 to finish third in heat one which was won by Franceca Mcocoroy of France who clocked 50.78 ahead of second placed Christine Ohuruogo of Great Britain in 50.80.

However,hurdler Vincent Koskei finished seventh in heat three of the 400m hurdles in 50.80 while compatriot Boniface Mucheru clocked 50.33 to complete in sixth position in heat six but their efforts were not enough to guarantee a place in the semi-finals set for Saturday.

Mucheru, the Africa Athletics Championships silver medalist at the distance and Koskei both in their Olympics debut will return to the track on August 9 competing in the 4X400m relay heats.

The former won bronze in the 400m at the continental event in Benin while Koskei finished fourth and was in the Kenyan relay team that finished third in Porto Novo.

Last year, he returned 49.49 to finish fifth in the heats at his World Championships debut exiting the competition, having finished fourth in a career best 49.36 at the Delhi Commonwealth Games in 2010.

During the national trials held in Nairobi in June he set a season best of 50.22 to emerge top in the heats although he eventually finished third in the finals.

Mucheru’s heat was won by Great Britain’s David Green in 48.98 followed by Emir Bekric in a national record of 49.21 while Jose Reynaldo Bencosme was third in 49.35.

Heat six winner was Felix Sanchez of Dominican Republic in 49.24 ahead of Jack Green of Great Britain closely behind in 49.49 with Senegal’s Mamadou Kasse third in 49.63.

The semi finals of the two events will be held on Saturday.urp