Daniel Simiu and Nicholas Kimeli secure tickets to World Championships after scintillating display

Commonwealth Games 5,000m silver medalist Nicholas Kimeli and Commonwealth Games 10,000m silver medalist Daniel Simiu have secured their tickets to the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary after taking the 1-2 positions during the ongoing National Trials at the Nyayo National Stadium.

A pack of more than 10 athletes braved through the chilly afternoon with the hope of making the cut to the national team but only the duo managed to be selected successfully.

Among the pack were some of the top 10,000m stars, including Kibiwott Kandie, Simiu and Bernard Kibet. After five laps, Kibet of Central Rift was looking comfortable leading the pack which was still intact.

Kimeli and Simiu overtook Kibet to take third place but after 4,000m, Kandie took the mantle as he crossed the mark in 11:08.00. At this point, the pack had started dropping off and Weldon Langat and Hillary Kipkoech were trailing.

The unpredictable race saw Kimeli take the mantle after 6,000m and he was now looking comfortable with Simiu following closely behind him. Shortly after, Simiu overtook Kipkorir after 16 laps but his reign was short-lived as Kipkorir took over again.

After 17 laps, the leading pack now consisted of six athletes both looking poised and ready for title contention. The race would become a battle between Kandie, Simiu and Kimeli with Kibet following closely.

With one lap to go, Kimeli was still leading the trio and with the finish line in sight, he unleashed a finishing kick to outshine Simiu and Kibet. He crossed the line in 27:20.84, unofficial time.

In a post-race interview, he expressed excitement to have won the race and noted that he might opt to double in both the 10,000m and 5,000m since he had a wild card in the 12.5 lap-race. 

He said: "We urge Kenyans not to lose hope in us because something good will come home. They should keep us in their prayers. We are okay in endurance and we have to improve on our speed."

posted Friday July 7th
by Abigael Wuafula