Chepkemoi stuns rich field to claim KDF 10,000m title

Athletes compete in 5,000 metres race during Kenya Defence Forces Championships

Athletes compete in 5,000 metres race during Kenya Defence Forces Championships at Ulinzi Sports Complex in Lang'ata Barracks, Nairobi on April 22, 2022.


Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Chepkemoi trounced a rich field to claim her maiden 10,000m title, clocking 31 minutes and 55.09 seconds as the Kenya Defence Forces Championships ended Friday at Ulinzi Sports Complex
  • Judy Kiyeng, stunned 2018 Continental Cup 1,500m champion Winny Chebet, who is also the reigning National 1,500m champion and seasoned Selah Jepleting to the 1,500m title
  • KDF will have new champions in men and women’s 200m after Samwel Imeta from Nanyuki and Mtongwe’s Jane Chege caused major upsets

The National Cross Country and Memorial Agnes Tirop World Cross Country series champion, Joyce Chepkemoi’s rise seems unstoppable.

The Laikipia Air Base (LAB) athlete trounced a rich field to claim her maiden 10,000m title, clocking 31 minutes and 55.09 seconds as the Kenya Defence Forces Championships ended Friday at Ulinzi Sports Complex.

Chepkemoi brushed aside Irene Kamais from Thika to second place in 32:03.68 as Isiolo’s Purity Komen wrapped up the last podium place in 32:30.32.

Chepkemoi settled a distant sixth in 2019 when the event was staged last with the World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri reigning supreme. Obiri opted to compete in the 5,000m this time around to win the race. 

"This is my first time to win after I settled second in 2019 and it feels great. I can attribute my victory to the good endurance that I got from running in cross country events and road races," said Chepkemoi.

Chepkemoi is focused on representing Kenya in 10,000m at World Athletics Championships on July 15 to 24 in Oregon, United States.

Chepkemoi's victory came after she finished second behind Obiri, the World Cross Country champion, during the Kenya Defence Forces Cross Country Championships in January.

Charles Simotwo (left) and Daniel Munguti go head to head in 1,500m race

Charles Simotwo (left) and Daniel Munguti go head to head in 1,500m race during Kenya Defence Forces Championships at Ulinzi Sports Complex in Lang'ata Barracks, Nairobi on April 22, 2022.


Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

However, she would go on to claim her maiden national cross country victory in January before clinching the inaugural Memorial Agnes Tirop World Cross Country series crown in February. 

The 26-year-old Chepkemoi then finished second at Harmonie Mutuelle Half Marathon in Paris and Generali Berliner Half Marathon in Berlin on March 6 and April 3 respectively.

Competing in her first track event since last year’s Kip Keino Classic, Judy Kiyeng, stunned 2018 Continental Cup 1,500m champion Winny Chebet, who is also the reigning National 1,500m champion and seasoned Selah Jepleting to the 1,500m title.

Kiyeng from Moi Air Base (MAB) timed 4:08.00 to edge out Chebet, who was the defending champion, and Jepleting, the 2015 World Military Games 1,500m champion, to second and third places in 4:08.06 and 4:10.85 respectively.

KDF will have new champions in men and women’s 200m after Samwel Imeta from Nanyuki and Mtongwe’s Jane Chege caused major upsets.

Imeta timed 20.75secs to stun defending champion Mike Mokamba (MAB) and Samuel Chege (Mtongwe) to second and third places in 20.93 and 20.96 respectively.

Boniface Mweresa of Laikipia Air Base wins 400m race

Boniface Mweresa of Laikipia Air Base wins 400m race during Kenya Defence Forces Athletics Championshps at Ulinzi Sports Complex in Lang'ata Barracks, Nairobi on April 22, 2022.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

Imeta sealed a double with victory in the 100m, clocking 10.48 to also silence defending champion Samuel Chege to second place in 10.59. Robinson Moteche returned home third in 10.64.  

Jane Chege took to the blocks in the women's 200m to bring down defending champion Queenector Kisembe. Chege timed 24.69 to edge out Caroline Mwende to second place in 25.05 as Kisembe came in third in 25.24.

Boniface Mweresa (LAB) staged a glorious return from a doping ban to lift the men's 400 title, clocking 45.84 to beat Kennedy Kimeu (MAB) and Kelvin Tauta (Mtongwe) in 45.96 and 46.17 respectively.

Jarinter Mawia (Mtongwe) went for the women’s top honours in 400m in 53.20 with Vivian Chebet (Nanyuki) and Ruth Jebitok (Mundika) timing 54.6 and 57.38 for second and third places in that order.

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