Gold medallist Kasait shifts focus to Doha

Gilbert Kiprotich in Rabat, Morocco After winning Kenya’s second gold medal in 5,000m at the ongoing African Games here in Rabat, Morocco, the 2017 World Cross Country bronze medalist Lilian Kasait has now shifted her focus to the World Championships set for Doha, Qatar. On Monday, the flood gates of gold medals opened for Kenya with Kasait bagging the cherished medal just a few minutes after Benjamin Kigen had won Kenya its first gold medal of the championships in the men’s 3,000m steeplechase. Kasait clocked 15:33.63 beating the Ethiopian duo of Hawi Gejia (15:33.99) and Alemitu Olana (15:37.15) to second and third place respectively. Uganda’s Sarah Chelangat placed third in 15:38.11 with another Kenya Lydia Jeruto coming home sixth in 15:43.56 while Commonwealth Games 10000m champion Stellah Chesang of Uganda ranked seventh. It was not an easy win for Kasait as she had to dig deep to contain Gejia who had threatened to spoil her party by throwing in a spirited fight till the final 40m but Kasait held on for the win. “The race was competitive especially with the Ethiopians who made it even harder for us but together with Jeruto we were ready to fight for our flag. I only want to improve in the coming competitions including the World Championships,” said Kasait. In the women’s triple jump final, Kenya’s Gloria Mulei placed sixth after managing a jump of 13m. Action continues today in athletics with Cornelius Tuwei and Abel Kipsang set to compete in men’s 800m semi final while Joseph Poghisio and Alphas Kishoyian will be looking for slots in the finals of 400m when they compete in today’s semis. Maximila Imali will lead Kenya’s charge in the women’s 100m final while Dominic Abunda will be in action in the men’s Shot Put finals. Men’s 10,000m race, is another big event of the day with Kenya’s charge led by Olympic Games Silver medalist Paul Tanui, Edwin Soi and Charles Mneria. Kenya will however not have a representative in the women’s 800m final, also scheduled for the day, with the pair of Eglay Nalianya and Naomi Korir failing to qualify after finishing third in their respective heats. Kenya has so far accumulated a total of seven medals; two gold, two silver and three bronze.

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