NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 9- Kenya’s Maxmila Imali, Gladys Musyoki and Veronica Mutua have progressed to Tuesday’s 400m semi-finals of the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast Australia after picking qualification times in the heats early Monday morning.
Imali was Kenya’s best performer in the preliminaries, steaming away to victory in her heat after clocking 51.74 ahead of Jamaica’s Tovea Jenkins. Mutua also picked up an automatic qualifying slot after finishing fourth in her heat, timing 52.70 in a race won by Nigeria’s Yinka Ajayi.
Musyoki however had to wait till all the heats concluded before earning a slot in the semis with her personal best time of 53:41 placing her among the best losing finishers.
There wasn’t much luck for their male counterparts as both Boniface Mweresa and Collins Omae failed to qualify to the final, Omae coming in eighth in his semi heat while Mweresa finished sixth. Only the top two athletes from the three semis qualified plus the best two best third placed finishers.
Omae started off in the inside lane from the first semi-final, but he didn’t have much luck with his take off and ended up clocking 47:39 with Botswana’s Isaac Makwala winning in 45:00.
Mweresa, the African champion over that distance clocked 46:68 to come home sixth with India’s Muhammad Anas winning the race with a final dip in the last 20m clocking 45:44.
In the 1500m race, Winny Chebet was the only Kenyan who failed to make it to the final after she was tripped and fell in the final 100m, having found herself boxed in between Australian Linden Hall and Scot Stephanie Twell.
Beatrice Chepkoech went on to win the heat after controlling the race from gun to tape, crossing the line in 4:08.29. Chebet managed to rise and finish the race.
In the opening heat, Mary Wangari finished third a season’s best time of 4:06.58 to progress to the final. South African Caster Semenya literally jogged to the finish line winning the race in 4:05.86. Australia’s Georgia Griffith was second.