Africa and National Cross Country champion Alice Aprot lived up to her billing to win the women’s 10km race at the Kenya Prisons Service Cross Country Championships at the Uhuru Gardens, Nairobi on Saturday.
Upcoming long distance runner Katui Muia obliterated a strong field that had seasoned runners Mangata Ndiwa and Justus Kangogo in the men’s 10km race to win in 29:32.0.
Aprot, the Africa and All Africa Games 10,000mm champion, resorted to her traditional front-running style where she widened the gap to almost 50 metres before storming to victory in 32 minutes and 49.9 seconds.
Aprot, who is still at the Prisons Staff Training College, edged out Prisons 5,000m champion Nancy Nzisa from North Eastern to second place in 33:21.6 as upcoming Pauline Kaveke, who is also at PSTC, wound third in 33:39.4.
“It was a good performance but I am not in my usual form since I am still in college,” said Aprot, who is determined to defend her National Cross Country title on February 18 in Nairobi and secure a place in the team for the World Cross.
“I know the Nationals and the Worlds will be grueling with the likes of Hellen (Obiri) winning the Kenya Defence Forces race. Police also have quality athletes,” said Aprot, who will turn her focus on the track ahead of the World Championships.
World Cross Country Championships are due March 26 in Kampala, Uganda while the World Championships will be held August 4-13 in London.
Even though Aprot made Team Kenya for the 2015 World Cross Country Championships in Guiyang, China, a back injury locked her out.
Aprot, a sister of 2010 World Cross Country champion Joseph Ebuya, would have one of the most successful seasons in 2016. After winning the Africa Cross Country crown in March, she went for the Africa 10,000m title in a championship record in July last year before finishing fourth at the Rio Olympic Games.
Muia, who won the Nairobi leg of the Athletics Kenya (AK) Series, won the sprint finish battle, beating Kangogo, the 2013 AK Series jackpot winner to second in 29:35.0. Cornelius Kangogo came in third in 29:43.0.