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Given a wide berth: Mwangangi gives AK Relays Series credibility as elite runners stay away at the Safaricom Kasarani Stadium

WEIRD NEWS
By -JONATHAN KOMEN | March 23rd 2014

BY JONATHAN KOMEN

Millicent Ndoro in action during the AK Relay Series at Safaricom Kasarani Stadium, yesterday.

Big no-shows lists were quite evident at the fourth Athletics Kenya relay series at Safaricom Stadium Karasani yesterday.

The meet, which was expected to set the grand stage in the campaigns for places in Kenya’s team to the inaugural IAAF World Relay Championships set for Nassau, Bahamas, between May 24 and 25, saw most of the world-beating athletes give it a wide berth.

But newly-crowned World Indoor 3,000m champion Caleb Mwangangi, who was not drafted into the competition, showed up and led his 4x1, 500m team to victory in 14:54.30.

Mwangangi, who returned to Poland recently four years after winning the world cross-country junior title in Bydgoszcz, anchored Collins Cheboi, Zablon Chumba of Complete Sports and Benard Kipkorir to top spot in an exciting battle.

Hillary Yego, Tohston Simotwo, Fredrick Korir and Stanley Kipkemoi was second in 14:57.09 as Vickson Bolonet, Beranrd Nkaoienet, Franklin Kiplagat and Samson Mwaura settled for third in 15:03.2.

The lanky Mwangangi said he is keen to extend his wins to the inaugural IAAF World Relays Championships.

“When I made the team to the World Indoors, I was certain to meet Bernard Lagat of USA. I then decided to watch Lagat’s all indoor competitions and I applied the tactics. I simply used Lagat’s tactics to beat him,” he said.

“I like Lagat. He is a friendly guy. He gives me advise on how to excel. Although I have missed the national team narrowly to major championships, I will give my best shot at the World Relays. I think we can break the 4x1500m world record if I team up with Asbel Kiprop and Silas Kiplagat and other top 1,500m runners,” he said.

The battle between Commonwealth Games 800m bronze madalist Abraham Kiplagat team and Olympian Anthony Chemut squad in 4x800m was simply breathtaking.

Robert Biwott, the Africa Youth two-lap race title holder, threw down the quantlet and silver medallist Patrick Rono picked it up as Chemut and Felix Konchella  sealed the victory in 7:11.3. Chemut said he has put behind his Moscow Worlds poor shows and would perform better this season.

Kiplagat, who hails from Cheptiret in Uasin Gishu County, led his team to second place in 7:11.7, where Daniel Karwen, Julius Ndengwa and Titus Mutua joined forces.

The Kenyan men are the world 4x800m record holder at 7:02.43 set in Brussels in 2006.

In the women’s front, Beatrice Chepkoech led her team to the 4x1,500m title in 18:08.1 ahead of Susan Wachera’s (19:40.1) and Susan Wacheke (20:22.1).

Maureen Thomas aided Eunice Kadogo, Phylis Kwoba and Jean Simiyu to the 4x200m crown in 1:42.8, beating quartet of Gladys Musyoki, Hellen Syombua, Patricia Isichi and Anasthacia Kanini, who posted 1:44.4.

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