World Cross Country champion Geoffrey Kamworor and world 10,000m gold medallist Vivian Cheruiyot won the men’s and women’s titles during the Kenya Police Service Cross Country championships at Ngong Racecourse on Saturday.
There was a thrilling moment in the senior men’s 10kms race when Kamworor, the 2006 Commonwealth Games 5,000m champion Augustine Choge, who is making a comeback from injury, three-time world 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop and world 5,000m silver medallist Caleb Mwangangi ran neck and neck.
However, Kamworor, who is also the world 10,000m silver medallist, took command 4kms into the race with his trademark blistering pace to win in 30 mins and 52.7 secs.
Choge, the 2012 World Indoor 3,000m silver medallist, was out of action virtually the whole of last year with a tendon injury. His second place finish in 31:30.1 was inspiring. Kiprop, the 2007 World Cross junior champion, came third third 31:47.1.
“It feels great to retain the title,” said Kamworor, who is preparing to defend his World Half Marathon title on March 26 in Cardiff, Wales.
On January 31, the athlete heads to the Discovery Cross Country Championships before defending his National Cross Country title on February 13 at Uhuru Gardens.
“I want to prepare for the half marathon,” said Kamworor, who hinted he may be looking to break the 58:23 record held by Eritrean Zersenay Tadese.
Kiprop said his priority is the Olympics but he wants to lower his personal best 3:26.69 he set in Monaco last year.
Choge said it has been a tough battle with a tendon injury. He is seeking a place in 3,000m team to the World Indoor Championships between March 17 to 20 in Oregon. Choge said he drew inspiration from his close friend Rudisha, who made a great return to reclaim his world 800m title.
Cheruiyot, who won Kenya Police Cross titles in 2011 and 2012, completed a hat-trick after winning the women’s 10km race in 36:29.9.
The the 2011 World Cross gold medallist, beat African Games 5,000m champion Margaret Chelimo to second place in 36:30.1 as world 3,000m steeplechase champion Hyvin Kiyeng finished third in 36:34.3. Kiyeng was on Friday crowned the 2015 Kenya Sportswoman of the Year.
Men’s 10km: 1. Geoffrey Kamworor (Western, 30:52.7); 2. Augustine Choge (Traffic, 31:30.1); 3. Asbel Kiprop (PEU, 31:47.1); 4.Josphat Bett (Central, 31:53.2); 5.Johnson Nakeri (Civilian, 31:57.5; 6. Caleb Mwangangi (Central, 32:00.1); 7. Peter Kirui (AP, 32:05.1) 8. Philemon Rono (NEP, 32:14.7) 9. Paul Kipsiele (Western, 32:17.5)
Women’s 10km: 1. Vivian Cheruiyot (DCI, 36:29.9), 2. Margaret Chelimo (KPC, 36:30.1) 3. Hyvin Kiyeng (KPC, 36:34.3) 4. Janet Kisa (Nyanza, 36:47.5) 5. Linet Masai (GSU, 36:48.6) 6. Lydia Rotich (Nairobi, 36:54.9) 7. Pascalia Jepkorir (Nairobi, 37:09.9) 8. Virginia Nyambura (Kiganjo, 37:15.8) 9. Isabella Ochichi (Kapu, 37:15.8)