Newly-wed Bett, Chepkemoi triumph in Iten Cross Country


Leonard Kipkemoi Bett (L) from Kenya and Girma Diriba from Ethiopia compete in 2000m steeplechase ...
Leonard Kipkemoi Bett (L) from Kenya and Girma Diriba from Ethiopia compete in 2000m steeplechase boys during their WU18 championship at Kasarani stadium,Nairobi in July 14,2017. Photo/Oliver Ananda/www.sportpicha.com

In Summary

  • There was no better way for the recently wedded Leonard Kipkemoi Bett to open year 2020 than to win the fifth leg of Athletics Kenya Cross Country meet held Saturday in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County.
  • \The World Under-20 silver medallist who tied the knot on December 28 clocked 28:06 to win the men’s 10km race ahead of Daniel Simiyu (28:13.2) and Abel Kipsang (28:17.8) who ranked second and third respectively.

There was no better way for the recently wedded Leonard Kipkemoi Bett to open Year 2020 than to win the fifth leg of Athletics Kenya Cross Country meet held Saturday in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County.

The World Under-20 silver medallist who tied the knot on December 28 clocked 28:06 to win the men’s 10km race ahead of Daniel Simiyu (28:13.2) and Abel Kipsang (28:17.8) who ranked second and third respectively.

Bett, who placed third at the first meet held in Machakos on November 23 said he is eyeing a slot in national teams for both the Africa Cross Country Championships slated for Togo in March and Olympic Games penciled for Tokyo, Japan.

“ I enjoyed the race, the course was good this being only my second race competing in the senior ranks. I am focusing on the Africa Championships as well as the Olympic Games,” said Bett who made his senior debut at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

In the corresponding women’s race, Betty Chepkemoi destroyed an experienced field to bag the title in 32.14.9 with African Games finalist Monica Chirchir coming second in 32:29.2 as the reigning Frankfurt Marathon champion Valary Aiyabei settled for the third spot in 32.23.1 while Dorcas Kimeli – the winner of Sotik meet – finished fourth in 33:00.4

Like Bett, Chepkemoi said her major focus is to represent Kenya at the continental championships in Lome, Togo.

“This is a very busy year where we have major championships are lined up. For me, I am eager to represent Kenya in these competitions; that is why I am seeking a very strong build up,” said Chepkemoi.

Gedion Rono clinched the men’s 8km title after cutting the tape in 22:13.4 followed by Shadrack Kipchumba and Emmanuel Kipchirchir who battled to the finish line.

Elsewhere, Agnes Jebet stunned pre-race favourite Edna Jebitok to win the women’s 6km race after timing 19:03.9 with the Keringet-based Jebitok placing second in 19:11.

Selected results

10k senior men

  1. Leonard Bett- 28:06.1
  2. Daniel Simiyu- 28:13.2
  3. Abel Kipsang- 28:17.8
  4. Erick Tirop- 28:25.2
  5. Edward Kibet- 28:37.2
  6. Abel Mutai- 28:45.2

10km senior women

  1. Betty Chepkemoi- 32:14.9
  2. Monica Chirchir- 32:21.9
  3. Valary Aiyabei- 32:23.1
  4. Dorcas Kimeli- 33:00.4
  5. Jackline Atudonyang- 33:03.2
  6. Judith Jepng’etich- 35:15.9

8km junior men

  1. Gideon Rono- 22:13.4
  2. Shadrack Kipchumba- 22:18.4
  3. Emmanuel Kipchirchir- 22:18.4
  4. Felix Korir- 22:25.6
  5. Brian Kiptoo- 22:35.6
  6. Naibei Kiplimo- 22:36.8

6km junior women

  1. Agnes Jebet- 19:03.9
  2. Edna Jebitok- 19:11.08
  3. Fancy Cherono- 19:23.3
  4. Brenda Chepchumba- 19:33.3
  5. Irene Chepketer- 19:35.9
  6. Winnie Kimutai- 19:36.6

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Story By Gilbert Kiprotich
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