World Cross Country champion Joseph Ebuya failed to live up to his pre-race billing as favourite to win the 12km senior men’s race on Saturday, instead finishing in a humbling 23rd position during the Armed Forces cross country championships at Laikipia Air Base in Nanyuki.
John Chepkwony won the 12km title in 35:41.2 while Linet Chepkurui took the women’s 8km crown in 27:18.3 inand 12 km respectively.
Ebuya, who has been running cross country competitions in Europe for the past two months attracted huge media attention when he showed up beaming confidently at the start line.
He was in total command of the race for the first two circuits and all over sudden he lost contact with the leading pack and by the last lapse bell, he was grass hoping in the tenth position and he ended finished the race fifteenth.
Running at low altitude
After the race, Ebuya who jetted in the country from Punta Umbria, Spain on Thursday evening told the press that he needs one week to recover since he has been running low altitude zones in Europe.
“I am proud of the runners in today’s championship which was speedy and tough. I am sure will take a good team judging from today’s race.
“The sun was too hot having been used to running in cold country for sometimes now and my body was used to low altitude,” said Ebuya.
He said that he still hope to defend his title at the World Cross country championships in Spain in March. Laikipia Air Base team won the overall title with 56 points, followed by Moi Air Base, Isiolo, Kahawa and Thika, in that order.