Kenyans shine in Japan distance race
There was a race last Wednesday, in Japan. The Fukagawa Hokuren Distance Challenge (HDC), the second meet of the four part HDC series.
In the main event of the day was the men's 10,000m, and Kenyans had a podium sweep. Bernard Kibet Koech from Team Kyudenko stole the win from Team Toyota’s Bedan Karoki in a sprint finish. Kibet won in a world leading time of 27:14.84 ahead of Bedan Karokis 27:15.97. Karoki is the 2016 world half marathon silver medallist. Cleophas Kandie was third with a personal best of 27:51.19.
Kenyans also shone in the men’s 5000m, taking the top five positions. 2019 Prague Half Marathon champion Benard Kimeli posted his personal best to win it 13:16.61 ahead of Jonathan Ndiku. Ndiku clocked 13:17.98 and Richard Yator Kimunyan 13:18.76 for third.
Rosemary Monica Wanjiru dominated the women's 5000m, winning in 15:03.49, her personal best.
Wondering why there are many Kenyans in this race? Well, there are a host of Kenyan athletes who work and train in Japan. Corporate sponsored racing teams are a big deal in Japan, and they often recruit Kenyan athletes in the same way that top flight football teams recruit players from around the world.
Next up in the Hokuren Distance Challenge series is the July 15 Abashiri meet.
Obiri and Conseslus going to Monaco
Today, 14 July, We start a 4 week countdown to the Diamond League resuming The first meet is in Monaco on 14 August.
Hellen Obiri and Conseslus Kipruto have been added on the list of those who will line up for the Herculis EBS Monaco meet. Kenyan athletes still aren’t allowed to get new visas to race in Europe, but athletes with existing long-term visas are allowed to travel.
This is a very sad situation as it means the athletes who are suffering most from competition cancellations will also be excluded from returning to racing. It’s understandable given the ongoing pandemic, but means the pipeline of upcoming talent will struggle and as fans we’ll only get contests with those who are allowed to compete.
Mark Otieno, sprinter talks about sole training with his coach
It is rare for Kenyan sprinters to get the attention of World Athletics, we’re famous for distance runners, not sprinters. Apart from the late Nicholas Bett, the 2015 400m hurdles World champion and Boniface Mucheru who won 400m hurdles silver at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Kenya hasn’t had much sprint success on the world stage.
Which is why it’s exciting to see Mark Otieno, the Kenyan 100m national champion and national record holder, has the attention of World Athletics. For him, training away from the watchful eyes of his USA based coach is normal for him. But there are still new challenges training in the COVID-19 world.
Excitement building over Kip Keino Classic
Nairobi is preparing to host a leg for the inaugural Continental Tour. And all of Africa is getting excited for the event dubbed the Kip Keino Classic. We will share ticketing and viewing information as soon as it is out.
Kipchoge is targeting a fast London Marathon in October
Eliud Kipchoge holds the London Marathon Course record of 2:02:37. But that time is not fast enough for him. The world’s fastest man is targeting a fast time in London come 4 October.
One challenge is that training camps remain closed, and Kipchoge swears by team track training as a key tool for speed. He’s training solo right now in hopes that London will still happen. Which is looking increasingly unlikely since….
Chicago marathon cancelled, Copenhagen half too.
London marathon remains as the only World Marathon that hasn’t been cancelled. The Chicago Marathon, scheduled for Sunday, October 11, is officially off. During last year's edition Brigid Kosgei broke the women’s world record. The good news for Bridgid is there no more dilemma for her as to whether to race London (where she won in 2019) or Chicago.
The Copenhagen Half Marathon also was cancelled this past week. This would have been the 6th edition, and the race has already emerged as the place for breaking limits. It is where Geoffrey Kamworor broke the men’s half marathon world record last year with a time of 58:01.
Non Kenyan affairs
Finally!!! Baby Bolt has been unveiled and she is adorable
Usain Bolt and his partner Kasi Bennett have revealed photos of their daughter. And her name is Olympia Lightning Bolt. Guess her father’s accomplishments might have had something to do when it came to picking a name ;). Will she be the fastest girl and then woman on earth someday?
What have African sprinters been up to?
World Athletics has rounded up what some of Africa’s best sprinters have been up to during this Covid 19 pandemic. From Wayde van Niekerk, Marie-Josée Ta Lou, to Isaac Makwala, sprinters have been mapping up their own training ahead of Tokyo Olympic Games.
And here are some postcards from around Africa, a set of photos of some of those same sprinters.
Zurich Diamond League holds Inspiration Games
After the Impossible Games in Oslo, Zurich Diamond League organizers picked things up with the Inspiration Games. They involved 30 athletes competing in seven venues across Europe and USA. American sprinter Allyson Felix got the games underway with victory over 150m and brought the games to a close with 3x100 relay. Another highlight was Noah Lyles running 200m in 18.90, for an unbelievable world record (Bolt’s best is 19.19). Buuut he had lined up on the wrong lane and did actually run 185 metres. So, you know, not a record at all.
From Us At Enda
We’ve got a blog (you're on it)!
You might have noticed the links to Habari Blog at the top of each edition of Habari za Wiki, since we also publish this newsletter there. But now we’re also putting up blog posts diving deeper into some Enda stories.
This week we ask: what’s in a name? We share some details about the meaning and inspiration behind the name "Lapatet" and the names of the first ever colorways of the Lapatets we made.
Check it out:
From the Enda Community
We’re always exciting to welcome more faces into the Enda community.
@isoldeveronika took her Mara Golds Lapatets on a tour in the streets of Vienna saying "...walking through Vienna with my brandnew golden Lapatet from Endashoes... they are perfect!"
And @runwithdeananddaisy had this to say: "I came across Enda and immediately became invested in their story and was eager to give them a try. I’m stoked to add my first pair of Iten’s to my shoe collection! Took them for a run this morning and I’m thrilled with them!’"
Seems like his pup is also pretty excited about the new kicks!