Athletics: KDF Ace Wanjiru Bosses Steeplechase, Punches Ticket To Duala

Mercy Wanjiru on her way to winning women’s 3000m steeplechase at Ulinzi Sport Complex in Nairobi on May 21,2024.PHOTO/COURTESY

By Christine Ojung’a

NAIROBI,Kenya-Mercy Wanjiru clocked 9:45:09 to emerge new women’s 3000m steeplechase national champion at the ongoing Athletics Kenya National Championships at Ulinzi Sports Complex in Nairobi.
Wanjiru was in a class of her own as she breezed to the tape to win with the initially cutthroat showpiece with a comfortable margin.
The feat saw her punch a ticket to the 23rd edition of the Senior African Athletics Championships slated for Duala, Cameroon on June 15-25, 2024.
“I’m grateful for this victory, I trained hard ahead of the race, I dedicate this win to my mother who has been very supportive. She is also the reason I’m so motivated to go for gold in Cameroun,” the Kenya Defense Forces ace stated after the sweet victory.
Wanjiru broke away from the pack on the fifth lap and held on fervently till the tape, flooring other 15 participants who were salivating for new national championship title.
She was closely followed by Leah Jeruto who timed 9:50:57 to finish second as Judy Jepkoech came third in 9:51:65.
“It was a good race, I planned and executed it well, I’m happy I not only made it to the podium, but booked a slot for Cameroon,” Jeruto underlined.
“I’m now planning to work on my speed ahead of Duala showdown,” she added.
Former world beater in the discipline, Richard Mateelong who watched the race admitted he was impressed by the tactics displayed by the trio, however he advised the runners to work on their pace, especially now that the Paris 2024 Olympics is just around the corner

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