World 10,000m bronze medallist Agnes Tirop retained her title for third year running during the Ziwa Farmers 10km road race in Uasin Gishu County on Saturday.
Tirop ran a brilliant race from behind a pack of five athletes, before increasing her pace in the last kilometre to win the race.
Tirop crossed the line in 31:33.9 ahead of Kericho-based Sheila Chelang’at, who timed 31:37.2 as Brilliant Jepkorir settled for third position after clocking 31:46.7.
Tirop, who is fresh from winning the Tuskys Great 10km Wareng road race, said that she was determined to retain her title despite the stiff competition in the race.
“The race was tight and I’m happy I managed to beat the field. I was prepared for the race because I knew top athletes were to compete.
“The local races are part of my preparations ahead of the Olympics Games, where I will be looking forward to represent Kenya. One has to train well and I will be launching my training program ahead of the National trials,” said Tirop.
Shanghai International Elite 10KM Race champion Chelang’at, who trains in Kericho, said that she was happy to have finished the race second despite competing with the best athletes in the world.
“I was competing against marathoners and I was happy with my performance. I had done good preparations back at home and I will be looking forward to a better season next year,” said the athlete.
Frankfurt Marathon champion Valary Aiyabei emerged fourth, while Daisy Jepkemei came in fifth position.
In the men’s category, Nicholas Kimeli retained his title after finishing the race in 28:10.5 ahead of Josphat Kipchirchir, who timed 28:23.4 and Shadrack Kipng’etich sealed the podium places in 28:35.2.
Kimeli, who trains in Kaptagat in Elgeyo Marakwet County, said he is doing a build up for the Olympics Games, where he wants to represent Kenya in the 5,000m race.
“It was a tough race but I had prepared to win the race which normally kick starts my season. I would love to be in the team that will represent the country in Olympics Games and I have to prepare well because I want to be in the medal bracket,” said the athlete.
The race organizer Lawrence Tanui said that he wants to continue nurturing talents while making the race better each year.
“I’m happy that the race is producing world beaters who include the New York Marathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei. We are going to make it better in the coming years,” said Tanui.
Soy Member of Parliament Caleb Kositany urged the national government to prioritise the completion of stadiums across the country as one way of improving sports.
“The government should hasten the completion of the stalled stadium projects so that the athletes can get conducive areas to train ahead of their various competitions across the globe,” said Kositany.
10KM SELECTED RESULTS
1. Nicholas Kimeli 28:10.5
2.Josphat Kipchirchir 28:23.4
3.Shadrack Kipngetich 28:35.2
4. Weldon Kipkurui 28:39.9
5. Felix Kibet 28:43.6
1. Agnes Tirop 31:33.9
2. Sheila Chelang’at 31:37.2
3. Brilliant Jepkorir 31:46.7
4. Valary Aiyabei 31:50.0
5. Daisy Jepkemei 32:55.9