This past weekend, world athletics was heavily dominated by Kenyan athletes. Both locally and internationally, Kenyan runners especially marathoners showed their prowess in their respective events.
These events were:
NDALAT GAA KIDS CROSS COUNTRY: ELDORET, KENYA.
Locally all roads led to Ndalat Gaa in Eldoret where one of the most known events in the country was taking place on Saturday, 10 October 2015. Nicodemus Kipkirui and Andrew Lorot won the senior and junior men’s titles uniquely with Caroline Chepkoech and Sandra Chebet maintaining dominancy in senior and junior women arena.
Kipkirui, who trains in Iten in Elgeyo Marakwet County, prevailed in the shortened 8kilometres senior men covering the four 2kilometres loops in 24:13.7 after Joseph Ebuya, Barnabas Kosgei, Levi Matebo and Mangata Ndiwa got eclipsed on the undulating open course at Ndalat Gaa Girls High School. “This is my breakthrough in cross-country. It is my first victory and I would like to win more. It has shown me I can be a cross-country material. I will train hard and make the team that will represent Kenya next year,” said joyous Kipkirui, 24.
Bernard Kipkemoi and Isaac Kipkoech clocked 24:19.3 and 24:21.9 in second and third where Michael Bett, Kiprono Kurgat and Fredrick Kipkosgei followed in 24:23.4, 24:26.3 and 24:30.7.
Joseph Ebuya, who won the inaugural edition in 2009 and triumphed in 2010 World cross-country in Bydgoszcz and Barnabas Kosgei, a former cross-country junior silver medalist, paled to 29th and 12th Positions while Mangata Ndiwa, with a junior title finished 14th in the race which had 102 participants.
In junior men, Lorot, the Africa cross-country silver winner, did not disappoint as he upstaged a field of 400 competitors to win the 8kilometres in 24:30.9 eclipsing Nicholas Kemei and Dominic Kiptarus who timed 24:32.9 and 24:36.9 to come in second and third respectively.
In the senior women that was structured to 6kilometres, Caroline Chepkoech, who won the second edition of Africa cross-country in South Africa in 2012, easily ascended to the helm after arriving at the finish in 20:45.5
Cross-country seasoned Gladys Chemweno, who finished runners up at the 5th Laikipia University Half Marathon the previous Sunday, was second in 20:52.2 with Lilian Cheruto crossing third with 21:08.2. Georgina Rono, a winner at Eindhoven and Frankfurt marathons, timed 21:14 to finish fourth.
World Youth 3,000metres champion Sandrafelis Chebet was the undisputable winner of the 6kilometres junior women. Chebet, also the Africa cross-country silver medalist, achieved the accolade in 20:33.4.
The second and third positions were claimed by Beatrice Jepkirui and Betty Chepkemoi after tackling the course in 20:58.7 and 21:22.1 while Eva Cherono and Emily Chebet clocked 21:22.7 and 21:32.9 in that order.
During the event graced by local politicians and patronized by Athletics Kenya officials Mr. Isaiah Kiplagat Ag. President Lt (RTD) Gen.Jackson Tuwei, Vice Presidents Mr. David Okeyo, Mr. Paul Mutwi, Mr. Jinaro Kibet and Chief Executive Officer Mr. Isaac Mwangi, special categories of arranged age brackets also competed with veterans; men and women above 51 and 46 winning heifers and sheep.
Recently crowned World champions Ezekiel Kemboi (3,000msteeplechase), Vivian Cheruiyot (10,000m), Nicholas Bett, (400m Hurdles), Julius Yego (Javelin) and Asbel Kiprop (1,500metres) were the star attraction as new talents were unearthed during the race.
2015 BANK OF AMERICA CHICAGO MARATHON: CHICAGO, USA.
Elsewhere in the USA, It was Kenya’s day at the 2015 Bank of America Chicago Marathon as Dickson Chumba won the men’s race in 2:09:25 and Florence Kiplagat took the women’s title in 2:23:33.
Chumba pulled away from compatriot Sammy Kitwara who came second in 2:09:50. And to complete a Kenyan sweep Sammy Ndungu took third in 2:10:06, he was followed closely by an Ethiopian and an American who took fourth and fifth positions respectively.
“The course for me was very nice,” was all that world half-marathon record holder Florence Kiplagat could say after she claimed the women’s race, breaking away at 40km to win in 2:23:33. Ethiopians Yebrgual Melese and Birhane Dibaba took the next two spots with Melese coming in second in 2:23:43.
ASICS GRAND 10 BERLIN: BERLIN, GERMANY.
Mean while in Germany, 10 000M All Africa Games Silver medalist Gladys Chesire clocked a world-leading 10km time of 30:41 at the Asics Grand 10 Berlin on Sunday 11/10/1015. Chesire was followed by Fellow Kenyan Alice Nawonuna and Ethiopia’s Sutume Asefa Kebede who finished second and third in a time of 31:02 and 31:11 respectively.
In the Men’s category, Uganda’s world junior champion Joshua Cheptegei broke the National record with 27:50. Kenya’s Philemon Cheboi and Ethiopia’s Abayneh Degu Tsehay were second and third, both with the same time of 28:05.
BUENOS AIRES MARATHON: BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA.
Back to the United States, Kenyan runners showed their supremacy on Sunday 11/10/2015 in the Buenos Aires’ marathon by winning all three podium positions in the 42.2 kilometers competition through the streets of Argentina’s capital. Jonathan Chesoo won the race in 2:12:24 followed by his compatriots Julius Wahome and Daniel Rono.
In the women’s category, Kenyan Beatrice Toroitich finished 2nd, one second shy of the winner Abeba Gebreme from Ethiopia. Abeba completed the race in 2:30:31, a record in Argentinean marathons.
The marathon, which has been taking place annually in the Argentinean capital since 1984, had the record amount of 11,225 runners participating in the race.
20 KILOMETRES DE PARIS: PARIS, FRANCE
In Paris, Kenyans Stephen Ogari and Nancy Kimaiyo led a trail of 25,362 runners to cross the finish line at Quai Branly at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. Ogari, who finished second last year proved to be the strongest this year after he finished first ahead of last year’s winner Ethiopia’s Muhajir Hiredin. Ogari finished in 59:11 while the Ethiopians Muhajir and Getacher Tedla Jemaneh finished second and third in a time of 59:12 and 59:13 respectively.
Nancy Kimaiyo led a Kenyan 1-2-3 in the women’s race and was the winner over her compatriots Lucy Njeri Macharia and Nancy Arusei who came in second and third respectively. Nancy led the pack from gun to tape winning with ease in 1:06:03, little more than a minute outside the course record set last year by Rose Chelimo. Lucy Njeri followed her closely and finished in 1:07:39 with Nancy Arusei coming through for third in 1:09:16.
This were among many other races across the world where Kenyan athletes were part of and more so represented their country to be the Athletics hot bed of champions it is.
Athletics Kenya therefore congratulates them all and looks forward to more of these achievements.