• Tuesday, 25 June 2024
Kenyans are gearing up to reclaim their 10,000m title.

Kenyans are gearing up to reclaim their 10,000m title.

Kenya had dominated the women's 10,000m, winning five consecutive editions before Uganda did so at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

In fact, aside from Scotland, which won the first three editions in 1986, 1990, and 1995, only Kenya has previously held the titles.

Stella Chesang stunned Kenyans by winning gold, Uganda's first ever, as Kenya's Stacy Ndiwa settled for silver. Mercyline Chelangat, another Ugandan, took bronze.

Sheila Chepkirui and Irene Cheptai will compete in the race, which begins at 10 p.m. on Wednesday.

Chepkirui, who has steadily improved in her career, finished second to Hellen Obiri at the national trials last month.

Chepkirui, who finished seventh in the 5,000m at the 2017 World Athletics Championships, was unable to travel to Oregon due to a US visa issue.

Obiri took silver, with compatriot Margaret Chelimo taking bronze.

Chepkirui, who won the World Under-18 title in 1,500m in 2005 before settling for bronze in the same event in 2007, will undoubtedly want something to console her after the Oregon debacle.

"My preparations began long before the trials, and I didn't let up even after the Oregon trip fell through," said Chepkirui, the Africa 5,000m champion in 2016.

Cheptai, the 2017 World Cross Country champion who finished outside the medals in 10,000m at the World Athletics Championships in 2017 (seventh) and 2019 (sixth), is also raring to go.

"I've prepared well and am just waiting for the night of action," Cheptai said.

Ugandans Chesang and Chelangat are in Birmingham, hoping to replicate their Gold Coast fortunes from last year, along with Zena Chebet.

Jessica Judd and Samatha Harisson of England are two other athletes to keep an eye on in the final, which features 16 competitors.

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