Former world junior 2,000 metres steeplechase silver medallist Daisy Jepkemei and former world youth 1,500m champion Lawi Kosgei are the winners of the 10km races held during the third leg of the Athletics Kenya Cross Country series held at Kapsokwony, in Mount Elgon, Bungoma County on Sunday.
In the women’s category, Jepkemei clocked 34:52.7 ahead of Sheila Chelangat who timed 35:25.0 with Beatrice Mutai completing the podium in 35:34.7.
Jepkemei who is the younger sister of Norah Jeruto, capitalised on the slow pace to dominate the 10km senior women’s race. Jepkemei, who is the former 3,000m Africa champion surged forward after 4km, and controlled the race giving the other athletes, who included former 10,000m African champion Alice Aprot and former Africa Cross Country bronze medallist Beatrice Mutai a hard time.
Jepkemei said that she is not focusing on the World Cross Country Championships set for Denmark in March.
“I’m using the races to prepare myself for the Diamond League races where I will be concentrating on the 3,000m steeplechase race and 5,000m race. Today was a tough race and I’m happy I was able to clinch the title,” she said.
Jepkemei added that the presence of top athletes like Aprot inspired her to give her all in the race.
“When I saw Aprot at the start line, I knew it will be tough and my quick calculations of running from the front saved me. If my sister (Norah) was here you would have seen real competition between the two of us,” added the Iten-based athlete.
Mutai on her part said that she was satisfied with her results adding that she needs to do some more training ahead of the national trials.
“It was really tough but I’m happy I came in third. I will be doing some more training ahead of the trials because I want to be in the team that will represent Kenya in the World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark in March next year,” said the Nyahururu-based athlete.
Kosgei ran a tactical race following the leading pack from behind before increasing his pace in the last kilometre to win the race in 31:02.9 ahead of Kibet Chesumbai who clocked 31:04.5 as Robert Kiprop sealed the podium three in 31:07.5.
In the junior races, Michael Bett defended his 8km men title clocking 24:22.8 ahead of Charles Kakuri who ran in 24:32.1 while Gideon Kipngetich was third clocking 24:39.7.
Winny Kimutai was the 6km winner after clocking 21:15.2 ahead of Immaculate Chepkirui who ran in 21:16.8 while Monica Chirchir sealed the podium in 21:21.0.
1. Daisy Jepkemei-34:52.7
2. Sheila Chelangat- 35:25.0
3. Beatrice Mutai-35:34.7
4. Alice Aprot-35:42.1
5. Irene Kamais 36:09.5
1. Lawi Kosgei-31:02.9
2. Kibet Chesumbai-31:04.5
3. Robert Kiprop -31:07.5
4. Mathew Kimeli-31:09.0
5. Josphat Kipchirchir-31:18.0
8km junior men
1. Michael Kibet -24:22.8
2. Charles Kakuri-24:32.1
3. Gideon Kipngetich-24:39.7
4. Edwin Kiplagat-24:49.0
5. Bravin Kogei-24:54.3
6km junior women
1. Winny Kimutai-21:15.2
2. Immaculate Chepkirui-21:16.8
3. Monica Chirchir -21:21.0
4. Immaculate Anyango-21:28.2
5. Josephine Chelangat-21:34.0