Chespol, Aprot hunt Wanjiru at Prisons Cross Country

Cellphine Chespol

Celiphine Chepteek Chepsol of Kenya celebrates after winning gold in the final of the women's 3000m steeplechase on day four of The IAAF World U20 Championships on July 13, 2018 in Tampere, Finland.

Photo credit: File | AFP

What you need to know:

  • Chespol, the 2019 winner, makes a return after missing the last two editions owing to an injury while Aprot, the 2018 champion hopes to reclaim the crown after finishing fourth on return last year
  • Chespol competed in seven events last year on return from injury, which included her 3,000m steeplechase victory at the Absa Kip Keino Classic on September 18 at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani
  • The 2016 Africa Cross Country bronze medallist Charles Mneria eyes a fourth consecutive title in the men's 10km race where he faces a horde of seasoned long distance athletes


Former champions Cellphine Chespol and Alice Aprot take the battle to defending champion Rosemary Wanjiru when Kenya Prisons Cross Country Championships go down Saturday at  Prisons Staff Training College, Nairobi.

Chespol, the 2019 winner, makes a return after missing the last two editions owing to an injury while Aprot, the 2018 champion hopes to reclaim the crown after finishing fourth on return last year.

Also in the mix is the 2020 champion Loice Chemining, who hopes to recapture the title after she finished fifth last year.

Wanjiru was sublime in her execution leading from gun to finish to win her maiden Kenya Prisons Service Cross Country senior women's race last year.

The 24-year-old Wanjiru, who settled fourth in 10,000m at 2019 World Championships in Doha, clocked 33 minutes and 43.53 seconds to add another Prisons title to her collection.

Wanjiru, the 2015 African Games 5,000m champion edged out 2017 World Cross Championships bronze medallist Lillian Kasait to second place in 34:17.01. Kasait settled third last year.

“I am glad to be back. Training has been going on well and this event is just to gauge my shape ahead of the busy season,” said Chespol, the 2018 Africa Cross Country champion.

Chespol competed in seven events last year on return from injury, which included her 3,000m steeplechase victory at the Absa Kip Keino Classic on September 18 at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

The two-time World Under-20 champion started her season in June with the Kenyan trials for the Tokyo Olympic Games where she finished a distant 10th in 3,000m steeplechase but would settle fifth at the Prefontaine Classic and Zurich legs of the Diamond League.

“I am not 100 per cent fit but hope for the best. It’s good to test my fitness against a good crop of athletes,” said Aprot, the 2016 Africa Cross Country champion.

Chespol, Aprot and Wanjiru will be joined by the 2020 champion Loice Chemining and Kasait, the winner of the Kenyan trials in 5,000m for the Tokyo Olympics, former Paris Marathon champion Visiline Jepkesho and Jane Mwikali among others.

The 2016 Africa Cross Country bronze medallist Charles Mneria eyes a fourth consecutive title in the men's 10km race where he faces a horde of seasoned long distance athletes.

They include 2012 Olympic 5,000m bronze medallist Thomas Longosiwa, Wilfred Kimitei, Mark Bett, Geoffrey Korir and Cornelius Kangogo.

Meanwhile, the Kenya Defence Forces and Kenya Police Cross Country Championships will be held Friday morning at Moi Air Base and the Ngong Racecourse respectively.

Collins Koros, who finished second last year, intends to end defending champion Kibiwott Kandie’s reign at the KDF barracks where World Cross Country champion Hellen Obiri will be seeking to bag her fifth crown.

Newly graduated World 10,00m bronze medallist Rhonex Kipruto also aims to halt Geoffrey Kamworor’s charge for the ninth title at the Police event where a new champion will be crowned in women’s event in the absence of Sheila Chelangat.  

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