Augustine Choge, Chepkoech clinch Police XC titles
World Indoor 3,000m bronze medallist Augustine Choge and freshly minted Antrim Cross Country champion Caroline Chepkoech Kipkirui claimed the top honours at the Kenya Police Service Cross Country champions held on Saturday at the Ngong Racecourse.
Choge who stopped the timer at 34:13 to take the men’s 10km race attributed the win to mentorship from Olympics gold medalist and two-time London Marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge as he beat Joseph Kiptum (34:14) and Philimon Rono (34:14) who came second and third.
“The race was tough but first of all I would like to thank my brother and my mentor Kipchoge. He has been pushing me to do better and coming here today I was confident of I would post a great perfomace,” Choge told Citizen Digital after his powerful display.
Choge dominated the race from the gun to the end with Emmanuel Bett and Rono staying close but neither looked like really challenging him for the lead.
With about 300m left to go, Choge broke loose, shrugging off Bett and Rono with blistering pace and despite Kiptum’s latest attempt to reel him, he dashed for glory.
Choge, who won silver in 3,000m at the 2012 World Indoor before bronze over the same distance at the 2016 World Indoor, said he hopes he makes the Team Kenya cut for the World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, Uganda.
“My training programme was great. Even if the course would be a kilometer longer I was confident that I was going to win considering that I train with best marathoners in the world like Kipchoge. It gave me a lot of confidence about today and I hope to have a good performance in Uganda.” Chaoge added.
In the corresponding women’s race, Chepkoech had a much easier race having dominated right from the start and quickly opening a 200m gap between her and the chasing pack.
She went on to claim the title in 35:49 with Lucy Chepkorir stopping the timer at 36:11 for second place.
Former 3000m silver medallist at the 2003 IAAF World U18 Championships Pascalia Chepkoech settled for third place in 36:18.
“I thank God for the race and the results I’ve posted. I had not expected to win this race considering I was from another race a short while ago. The race had several champions and my chances of winning were slim.
“After this I shall go and prepare for the world cross and I hope God will see me through and I shall be able to take the title. I thank my parents and my coach for the support they have given me in my career,” Chepkoech said.
The cross country relay was a tight contest but Admistration Police Training College (APTC) came out tops, seeing off Kenya Police Service (KPS) and Central KPS to claim the top honours as Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) fiinished fourth.
- Augustine Choge 34:13
- Joseph Kiptum 34:14
- Emmanuel Bett 34:14
- Philimon Rono 34:14
- Cleophas Ngetich 34:16
- Matthew Kisorio 34:17
- Caroline Chepkoech Kipkirui 35:49
- Lucy Chepkorir 36:11
- Pascalia Chepkoech 36:18
- Beatrice Chepkoech 36:24
- Margaret Chelimo 36:42
- Edna Kiplagat 37:02
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