What you need to know:
- Chepkoech, who ran from behind the leading pack in the first two laps, surged forward and led in the remaining three laps before crossing the line in 34 minutes and 39.20 seconds
- According to Chepkoech, she didn’t expect to win the race after missing training for some time due to illness
- In the men’s category, Kiprotich stuck with the leading pack before breaking in the last lap to claim victory
World Under-20 3,000m steeplechase champion Jackline Chepkoech and upcoming Vincent Kiprotich were crowned winners of the Athletics Kenya Central Rift Cross Country Championships held at Lobo Village in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County on Saturday.
Chepkoech, who ran from behind the leading pack in the first two laps, surged forward and led in the remaining three laps before crossing the line in 34 minutes and 39.20 seconds ahead of Jescah Chelagat who timed 35:18.50 while Agnes Keino sealed the podium positions in 35:59.40.
According to Chepkoech, she didn’t expect to win the race after missing training for some time due to illness. She's happy to have joined the team that will be competing at the national cross country championships on January 22.
“The race was good and I didn’t expect to win because for the last two weeks I was unwell and didn’t train much. I’m happy because I performed well despite being my first senior race in the cross country event and I will be looking forward to compete with other world beaters,” said Chepkoech.
She added that the cross country events will help her kickstart her season as she looks forward to represent her country in the World Championships and the World Under-20 Championships in July and August respectively.
“I will be looking forward to represent Kenya during the World Championships in Eugene, USA and at the same time I will be defending my title during the World Under-20 Championships in Cali, Colombia and the cross country events will prepare me do well in the track events,” she added.
In the men’s category, Kiprotich stuck with the leading pack before breaking in the last lap to claim victory.
The Iten-based Kiprotich timed 30:16.50 ahead of Shadrack Kipchirchir who clocked 30:20.60 while Josphat Kipchirchir settled for third position in 30:29.25.
Kiprotich said that he was eyeing a slot in the Team Kenya for the Memorial Agnes Tirop World Cross Country Tour on February 12.
“It’s my first race to participate in and I’m happy I managed to beat a strong field today. My target is to be in the Kenyan team and I will be working on a few things before we converge here for the national cross country championships,” said Kiprotich.
The 8km junior category saw Ismael Kirui bag victory after timing 24:33.70 ahead of Gilbert Kiprotich who clocked 24:51.70 while Josphat Kiprop was third in 25:09.80.
In the women’s 6km junior race, Grace Loibach won in 21:00.73 ahead of Deborah Jemutai who clocked 21:14.09 while Lorna Jepchumba was third in 21:52.20.
10km senior men
1.Vincent Kiprotich 30:16.50
2.Shadrack Kipchirchir 30:20.60
3.Josphat Kipchirchir 30:29.25
4.Victor Togom 30:30.50
5.Geoffrey Kiboi 30:39.70
10km senior women
1.Jackline Chepkoech 34:39.20
2.Jescah Chelagat 35:18.50
3.Agnes Keino 35:59.40
4.Zenah Jeptoo 36:07.90
5.Anastacia Chepkorir 36:25.20
8km junior men
1.Ismael Kirui 24:33.70
2.Gilbert Kiprotich 24:51.70
3.Josphat Kiprop 25:09.80
4.Shadrack Kiptoo 25:16.30
5.Venance Kirwa 25:25.50
6km junior woomen
1.Grace Loibach 21:00.73
2.Deborah Jemutai 21:14.09
3.Lorna Jepchumba 21:52.20
4.Naomi Kemboi 21:56.90
5.Marion Jepng’etich 22:20.60