Like a source of a river that never dries up, Kenya’s athletic talents continue to flow out to replace the older generation of athletes, especially on the track.

This year, the women’s 10,000m runners from the athletics powerhouse seem to be out to dominate the world. Despite the top runners in the event opting out of the African Games to focus on the World Cross Country championships scheduled for this weekend, the lone runner who represented Kenya there ran a spectacular race and made headlines across the world.

Of the four women who ran under 30 minutes at the Valencia 10K in January, two of whom broke the previous world record, only one failed to make the Kenyan team to the World Cross Country Championships. But at the just-concluded African Games in Ghana, she made us re-look at those results again after her astonishing run to win gold in the women’s 10,000m event.

Janeth Chepngetich takes gold in the 10,000m at African Games, from Justin Lagat Twitter Feed

25-year-old Janeth Chepngetich was a lone ranger in the 10,000m race with three Ethiopians. The last stages of the race saw four runners break away to form a leading pack of medal contenders. There were three Ethiopians and one Kenyan. Chepngetich took her time behind two Ethiopians until the last lap, when she eventually unleashed a deadly finishing kick, leaving a big gap behind her in the previous 100m as she sprinted ahead to win the gold medal.

Another new name from Kenya to watch out for is Brian Komen, who won the men’s 1500m. The 25-year-old, whose progress in running was captured less than a year ago at the Czeslaw Cybulski Memorial in Poland, where he won the 1500m race in 3:33.84, was in tremendous form in Accra.


During the semi-final, Komen led up to the last 50m race, smiled, looked behind him, slowed down, and relaxed to let Ethiopia’s Addisu Chala run past to win it. From then on, everyone knew he was the favorite and didn’t disappoint at the finals.

Despite finishing second at the Kenyan trials, the other 25-year-old, Aron Cheminingwa, out-sprinted his fellow Kenyan, Alex Kipngetich Ngeno, to win gold in the men’s 800m event.

Cheminingwa has participated in some local competitions in Kenya since 2018, but this was his first noticeable performance outside the country. It was a significant breakthrough for him.

As the year progresses, with the Paris Olympics on the horizon, these three relatively new runners should be worth watching as the track season begins.