Mountain star Kipng’eno aiming higher

Athletes compete in 10km race during the Athletics Kenya Mountain running championships in Naivasha on November 22, 2020.


Photo credit: Pool | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Francisca Kanda from Elgeyo Marakwet ruled the roost in the women’s 8km race, winning in 48:11.5 ahead of compatriots Beatrice Cheserek (48:41.0) and Judith Korir (49:20.6).
  • "I couldn’t have done it alone without God and I thank him for that. I have run in a few marathons but this one was a new experience and a tougher one," said Kipng’eno.

The inaugural Athletics Kenya National Mountain Running Championships winner, Nakuru’s Patrick Kipng’eno, now wants to go for the World Mountain Running Championships title.

Kipng’eno, who hails from Bomet County, said his victory during Sunday's event in Naivasha is enough to fight for a place in the Kenyan national team.

The annual World Mountain Running Championships have not been staged this year owing to the Covid-19 outbreak that has since seen few athletics events take place.

Interestingly, Ugandan men have dominated the world event in the last decade, winning six times with the 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018 being their most successful years where they swept all the podium places.

Kenya is yet to win a medal in the event though Kenyan women have had a share of triumphs in the event with Lucy Murigi winning in 2017 and 2018 after silver in 2014. In 2018, Murigi’s compatriot Viola Jelagat claimed bronze.

In Naivasha, Kipng’eno conquered the gruelling 10-kilometre course in 50 minutes and 37.5 seconds, beating Titus Kimutai from Elgeyo Marakwet (51:09.0) and Nyandarua's Michael Kamau (51:43.8).

Francisca Kanda from Elgeyo Marakwet ruled the roost in the women’s 8km race, winning in 48:11.5 ahead of compatriots Beatrice Cheserek (48:41.0) and Judith Korir (49:20.6).

"I couldn’t have done it alone without God and I thank him for that. I have run in a few marathons but this one was a new experience and a tougher one," said Kipng’eno.

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