Kipruto ends Kamworor's dominance at Kenya Police Cross Country

Rhonex Kipruto (right) crosses the line to win the men's 10km race ahead of Michael Kibet

Rhonex Kipruto (right) crosses the line to win the men's 10km race ahead of Michael Kibet during the Kenya Police Service Cross Country Championships at Ngong Racecourse in Nairobi on January 07, 2021. 

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Kipruto, who is the 10km world record holder cashed on the late withdrawal of eight-time defending champion Geoffrey Kamworor to win in 30 minutes and 28.57 seconds in the event held at the Ngong Racecourse
  • Kipruto said he had not prepared well for the race having just graduated from Kenya Police Training College in December
  • It’s only in the last kilometre that Kipruto, the 2018 World Under-20 10,000m champion, took charge and never looked back for his maiden win

World 10,000m bronze medallist Rhonex Kipruto from Police Boarder (PBU) Friday won the Kenya Police Cross Country Championships men’s 10km title on his debut.

Kipruto, who is the 10km world record holder cashed on the late withdrawal of eight-time defending champion Geoffrey Kamworor to win in 30 minutes and 28.57 seconds in the event held at the Ngong Racecourse.

Kamworor, who was going for his ninth title, withdrew after he sustained a groin injury during his long run the previous day.

But Kipruto’s victory didn’t come on a silver platter after he was forced to hold off teammate Michael Kibet in the last kilometre to triumph. 

The race curved fast into a two-horse battle between Kipruto and Kibet as early as the first four kilometres with Kibet leading throughout the distance. 

It’s only in the last kilometre that Kipruto, the 2018 World Under-20 10,000m champion, took charge and never looked back for his maiden win.

“It’s a good win coming just upon graduating from Kenya Police Training College. We went for team work with my brother Kibet. It was needless to fight each other ruthlessly when we are from the same team,” said Kipruto, ” said Kipruto, who embraced Kibet at the finishing line.

Kipruto paid tribute to Kamworor and wished him quick recovery. “ I would have loved to compete against him. He is a legend and I hope to compete with him in the next event,” said Kipruto.

Kipruto said he had not prepared well for the race having just graduated from Kenya Police Training College in December.

“We have a busy season and I will have to sit down with my coach brother Colm O’Connell to strategise well especially after I  missed out on Tokyo Olympics owing to a hip joint injury,” said Kipruto.

Kipruto intends to compete at the Memorial Agnes Tirop World Cross Country Tour on February 12 before turning his focus to the World Athletics Championships on July 15 to 24 in Oregon, United States and the Birmingham Commonwealth Games due July 28 to August 8 in United Kingdom.

“I want to work on my speed ahead of the track season," said Kipruto.

Selected results 

1.Rhonex Kipruto (BPU) 30:28.6

2.Michael Kibet (BPU) 30:28.9

3.Josphat Kiprotich (CIPU) 30:46.8

4.Joseph Kiptum (NEP) 30:50.7

5.Edwin Bett (RDU) 30:52.1

6.Kennedy Cheserek (GSU) 31:02.4

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