Kamworor, Ndiwa cream of Cross Country trials
- Geoffrey Kamworor and Kenya Police champion Stacy Ndiwa on Saturday beat a host of other athletes to win the men and women 10km races at Africa Cross Country trials.
- Margaret Chelimo clocked 32:30.3 to finish fourth, followed by Perin Nengampi from the Kenya Defence Forces who finished fifth in 32:43.6.
- Beatrice Chepkoech who was leading in the first and second laps dropped from the leading pack in the 3rd lap before finally dropping out of the race in the fourth lap.
World Cross Country champion Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya Police and Stacy Ndiwa on Saturday beat a host of other athletes to win the men and women 10km races at Africa Cross Country trials held at the Uhuru Gardens in Lang’ata, Nairobi.
Kamworor dominated the 10km senior men race cutting the tape in 28:32, ahead of Baringo’s Alfred Barkach who clocked 28.42 to finish second.
Michael Ndirangu from Central came in third in 28:49, followed by Emmanuel Bor at 28:53, as John Chepkwony from KDF finished fifth in 28:53. Joseph Bett completed the team to Algeria finishing sixth in 28:58.
Kamworor, however, revealed that he will not be competing on the Africa Cross-country Championships since it comes a week to the World Half Marathon due for Valencia, Spain on March 24.
On the other hand, Ndiwa beat a host of seasoned athletes on her way to victory clocking 32 minutes, 15.6 seconds, ahead of Sandrafelis Chebet who finished first runners-up in 32:17.1, as Kenya Prisons Celiphine Chespol settled for the third position in 32:24.3.
Margaret Chelimo clocked 32:30.3 to finish fourth, followed by Perin Nengampi from the Kenya Defence Forces who finished fifth in 32:43.6, as Rosemary Njeri with 32:51.4, completed the team Kenya squad.
Ndiwa said she will now be aiming to improve her speed work as she targets to win Kenya a gold medal in the continental championships slated for March 17 in Chlef, Algeria.
“The race was good for me, I just approached it tactically and now that I have qualified for African Championships, I think teamwork is key for us to be successful there, ” said Ndiwa.
In a strange turn of events, Beatrice Chepkoech, who was leading in the first and second laps dropped from the leading pack in the third lap before finally dropping out of the race on the fourth lap.
World cross country silver medalist Alice Kiprop who was also in the leading pack lost steam and came in a disappointing eighth position clocking in 34:08, and failing to make the cut for team Kenya.
The team will now go full throttle on training as they gear up for the continental cross country championships to be held in Algiers.
At the same time, Africa defending champion Miriam Cherop will have a chance to defend her crown at the continental championships slated for Chlef, Algeria later on March 17, after winning the junior 6km category on Saturday.
Cherop from South Rift region clocked 19 minutes, 04 seconds, ahead of Roselida Jepketer, who finished second in 19:06, as Beatrice Chebet completed the podium finishing in 19:13.
Agnes Jebet clocked 19:14, to finish fourth, as Hellen Ekalale settled for the fifth spot in 19:23, while Edna Jebitok completed the team Kenya squad finishing sixth in 19:31.
Cherop said that her aim is to now defend her gold medal in Algeria.
“The race was good.The aim is to now defend the crown in Algeria but I will still train hard in readiness for the race, ” said the 17-year-old.
In the 8km junior men race, Stanley Waithaka claimed the honours ahead of Ronex Kipruto and Nicholas Kipkurui who came second and third respectively.
Peter Langat came in fourth, as the World under-18, 3,000m silver medalist Edward Zakayo settled for the fifth spot. Edwin Kiplangat finished sixth to make it to the team Kenya.
Full team to Africa Cross Country Championship
Nicholas Kipkurui .
Team manager-Abdulahi Salat
Assistant team manager- Duncan Ogore
Coach- John Kimetto
Assistant coach – Joshua Chelanga, Naomi Mugo
Delegate- Mathew Lesiampe
Report by Gilbert Kiprotich, Mary Muoki and Charity Wanja
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