Chebet now sets eyes on Africa Cross Country
Former World Youth silver medalist Sandra Chebet now eyes a place in Team Kenya for the Africa Cross Country after her triumphant performance at the Isaiah Kiplagat Memorial Cross Country race at the weekend in Ndalat, Nandi County, on Saturday.
Chebet, 19, prepared for senior life in dream fashion when she scorched a rich field against her elders to clinch the 8km women’s race.
In doing so, she claimed her second senior win in as many appearance after winning the Kericho 10km road race a week earlier where she was debuting.
The much travelled athlete who formally graduates to the senior rank on January 20 next year also declared her ambitions to contest in the 5,000m, where she will hope to earn selection to represent the county during the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.
“I’m preparing my body early enough. I was only trying out today and it’s amazing how it’s turned out because last week I was in Kericho running 10km. I know my teammates are very proud of me because for them it means they’re somewhere on the national map,” Chebet, who trains at the Londiani Camp, told Citizen Digital.
She clocked 28:07.6 to win the race that marks the start of the national cross country series. This year, the annual meet now in its ninth edition, was renamed in honour of the late former Athletics Kenya President Isaiah Kiplagat who passed on last year.
Eve Cherono (28:31.0)and Pascalia Jepkorir (28:40.3) finished second and third behind Chebet in the women’s senior 8km race.
Another debutant Nicholas Kipkorir, crossed the tape in 31:05.6 after a thrilling late duel with second finisher Noah Kipkemboi (31:10.0) in the corresponding men’s 10km race.
Last year, Kipkorir who trains in Kaptagat with reigning World Half Marathon and World Cross Country champion Geoffrey Kamworor finished third in the Junior Men’s 8km race but vowed to train his guns on the senior race.
“I knew I wanted to graduate so I trained hard to see how well I could do against the seniors. The race was tough but I told myself I can do it so I fought hard.
“It was a surprise to me because after two laps I could see the rest trying to keep the pressure on me. Most of them were seniors but I wasn’t intimidated because I have been training with them,” he stated.
Kipkemboi who finished 16th last year led from the second to the penultimate lap when Kipkorir’s final kick proved too strong for him as Emmanuel Bor (31:14.4) completed the podium finish in third.
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