The trail-blazing World Half Marathon Champion Geoffrey Kipsang claimed his third consecutive Kenya Police Service Cross title at the Ngong Racecourse on Saturday to fire a warning shot ahead of the World Cross Country trials.
It’s the 2008 World Youth Olympics 1,500m champion , Stacy Ndiwa, who reigned supreme in the women’s 8km race, to win her maiden cross major after waylaying a rich field on a sunny morning.
Kipsang, the 2011 World Cross Country junior champion, was obvious about his intentions as he weathered a two-horse race battle from half way with returnee Matthew Kisorio to triumph in 37 minutes 23.1 seconds.
Ndiwa, 23, broke away from a pack of seven athletes in the last lap, clocking 28:31.2 to beat Janet Kisa (28:33.0) and the 2011 World Cross country champion Vivian Cheruiyot (28:36.9), who is making a comeback from maternity leave, respectively.
Kipsang and Kisorio, who was fourth at the 2011 World Junior Cross, remained shoulder-to-shoulder, exchanged leads from mid race before Kipsang’s sprightly leg did the talking in the last two kilometres.
Kisorio, who is making a comeback since 2011 World Cross, clocked 37:33.8 as the 2014 Africa Junior Cross gold medallist Moses Mukono edged out the 2006 World Junior Cross champion Augustine Choge for the second place. Mukono, the 2013 Africa Junior 5000m, who featured as a guest, timed 33:39.4 beating Choge by 20 seconds.
“It feels nice winning my third consecutive Police title. I was confident of claiming a hat-trick this morning and I thank God for the achievement,” said Kipsang, winner of the 2011Berlin and Lille Half marathons. “I just want to focus my energies on winning at the nationals and the world God willing.”
The National Cross Country Championships will be held on February 14 from where a national team will be selected for the World Championships due March 28 in Guiyang, China.
“I think my only challenge at the nationals will come from the Police team,” said a confident Kipsang.
The 22 year old Kipsang said he will then seek to represent Kenya in 10,000m at the World Championships planned for August 22 to 30 in Beijing, China this year.
Before the Beijing trip, Kipsang, who has personal best of 58:54 from half marathon from his victory at the 2013 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, wants to attempt breaking the World Half Marathon record.
The 2007 World Junior cross bronze medallist Kisorio said he is determined to make amends by winning a medal in China upon completing a two-year ban for doping in July last year.
“I want to qualify for the Worlds and bring something home,” said Kisorio, 25.
Ndiwa is also focused on performing well at the nationals before giving the world title a shot. “It’s a tough calling but I shall try my best,” said Ndiwa.
- Geoffrey Kipsang (Western) 37:23.1
- Matthew Kisorio (Nyanza)_ 37:33.8
- Moses Mukono (Guest) 37:39.4
- Augustine Choge (Traffic) 37:51.6
- Joseph Kiptum (North Eastern) 37:59.7
- David Kogei (APS) 38:05.7
- Stacy Ndiwa (KPC) 28:31.2
- Janet Kisa (Nyanza) 28:33.0
- Vivian Cheruiyot (DCI) 28:36.9
- Irvin Kiyeng (KPC) 28:37.4
- Irene Jelagat (Rift Valley) 28:40.7
- Edna Kiplagat (Nyanza) 28:44.7