Chebet, Bett brave chilly conditions to win race
Tens of athletes braced the chilly morning conditions on Saturday to participate in the Athletics Kenya Cross Country Series which was flagged off at the Posta grounds, Nairobi.
And despite the muddy conditions occasioned by the heavy downpour in the capital, Sandra Felis Chebet who recently won the Ndalat Gaa Cross Country proved her mettle yet again, claiming the top honours in the senior women’s 10 km race.
Chebet clocked 32minutes and 53.2 seconds, to finish ahead of Lilian Kasait who clocked 33.14.9, and Gloria Kite who finished third with 34.01.7.
The Londiani-based Chebet said that she is now shifting her attention to the senior race as she aims a shot at next year’s Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.
“The course was slippery but I thank God for the victory, I am now targeting to move into the senior category as I have already started training on long races,” a delighted Chebet said.
In the men’s 10km race, David Bett crossed the finish line first; clocking 29:12 followed by Peter Matelong who clocked 29:30 and Nyahuru based Peter Njoroge who recently won the 10km UAP Ndakaini Marathon, coming in third with 29:31.
The Keringet- based Bett dominated the race from the start hence making amends for the dismal performance in the Ndalat Gaa Cross Country where he failed to finish the race.
In the 8km junior men’s race, Kiprono Sitonik overcame a strong challenge to emerge the winner with a time of 23.35.5, to finish ahead of Sila Kiptoo who clocked 23.48.8, while Nicholas Chelule came in third on 23.57.1.
Kiprono had emerged fifth at the Ndalat Gaa Cross Country three weeks ago which was a curtain raiser to this year’s series.
Kiprono attributed his win to proper preparations though like many of the competitors, he cited the bad weather as a challenge.
“The race was good except for the weather that made the course muddy, but I was well prepared for the race,” said Kiprono.
Elite athletes also participated in the race led by 1500m World champion Elijah Manangoi and silver medallist Timothy Cheruiyot who are both preparing for next year’s Commonwealth Games. The top six athletes in all the contests were rewarded. The next series is slated for Sotik on November 11.
Report by Erastus Muturi and Gilbert Kiprotich
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