Kenyan athletes shine in Brazil, Rio Olympics

Vivian Cheruiyot wins

Kenyan athletes have made the country proud by shining in Brazil, in the Rio Olympics.

World 10,000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot, won Kenya her first medal in the ongoing Rio Olympics after finishing second to bag silver in the opening track event of the Olympics on Friday.

Ethiopia’s Ayana Almaz, who is enjoying sizzling form, was in a class of her own as she obliterated 10,000 meters world record with a new 29:17.45. Compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba who was the defending champion won Bronze.

Cheruiyot gave her best to clock 29:32.53.

Other Kenyans in the race Alice Aprot (29:53.51) and Saina Betsy (30:07.78) finished fourth and fifth respectively and also set their own person bests.

China’s Wang Junxia held the old 10,000m record of 29:31.78 set in 1993.

In men’s  800m, medals stayed on course as the three Kenyans qualified to the next round from their respective heats in Rio.

‘King’ David Rudisha, posts the fastest time

Defending champion, ‘King’ David Rudisha, posted the fastest time from the morning’s seven heats, clocking 1:45.09 in the first heat.

Rynardt van Rensburg of South Africa and Great Britain’s Michael Rimmer followed him home to take the automatic qualifying spots together with 2016 US champion Clayton Murphy qualified through as one of the fastest non-automatic qualifiers in fourth place.

Kenya’s Ferguson Rotich was placed second in heat two behind Poland’s two-time European champion Adam Kszczot.

The fourth heat saw this year’s Kenyan champion Alfred Kipketer win in1:46.61 to book the other qualifying spot.

Two Kenyans, Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon and Viola Lagat, made it to the semi-final of the Women’s 1500m.

Faith Chepngetich finished second in Heat 2 after clocking 4:06.65 while Violah Cheptoo Lagat was 8th in Heat 3 4:08.09 but qualified as a fast loser.

Another Kenyan, Nancy Chepkwemoi, found the going tough and failed to make it after finishing 11th in Heat 3.

Favorite Dibaba Genzebe who set the World record of 3:50.047 in Monaco last year comfortably won heat 3 albeit with a slow clocking of 4:10.61.

Ethiopia’s Seyaum Dawit was the top ranked from the heats with a time of 4:05.33.

However in 20km race Kenya failed to finish the race that was won by China’s Wang Zhen.

Africa champion Samuel Gathimba and Simon Wachira, who were making their debut at the Olympic stage, did not finish the race.

‘King’ David Rudisha, posts the fastest time

Gathimba, with a time of 1:19.24 to place him as the tenth best 20km walker of the 2016 season was second within the first few kilometers before fading.

Gathimba followed the leader for much of the first half of the race while Great Britain’s Tom Bosworth a few strides behind until just before 8km, when he got on the Briton’s shoulder.

However, Gathimba started struggling soon afterwards and drifted backwards rapidly before dropping out just after 18km.

Zhen and the winner at the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships in Rome back in May, didn’t disappoint to win in 1:19:14.

World Race Walking Team Championships silver medalist China’s Cai Zelin came home 12 seconds later.

Two time Oceania Race Walking Champion Dane Bird-Smith of Australia who managed to pull away from Brazilian record-holder Caio Bonfim over the final one-kilometer lap to take the bronze medal in a personal best of 1:19:37