The war for supremacy between World Cross Country Champion Geoffrey Kamworor and his friend-turn rival Bedan Karoki Muchiri was the climax of the 21st International Association of Athletics Federations Permit/National Championships at Uhuru Gardens on Saturday.
Karoki, who has won the national title three times in succession, was eclipsed by the tactical Kamworor, also the World Half marathon Champion, 30 metres to the finish line in the senior men’s 8kilometres race that concluded the competitions.
Although the script was weighing between the two cross-country giants, Karoki, who is based in Japan but trains in Nyahururu, was the pre-race favourite after outstripping Kamworor during the 25th edition of Discovery Kenya meeting in Eldoret a fortnight ago, his winning tricks failed him at the finish.
“I was sure of defending the title from the beginning. I am in good form and it is unfortunate to loose. I made a mistake of kicking too early and running with the pack,” said Karoki who was running for Central Athletics Kenya Region.
It was a skillful running by Kamwowor who remained sandwiched in the leading group as Karoki employed fartlek mode of speed-play before making the plunder of sprinting while he could not sustained the tempo.
The winner, who was running for Police and is presently focusing on defending the World Half Marathon title on March 26th in Gardiff, Great Britain, won the race in 28:19.6 surpassing Karoki who trailed in 28:24.3 in the race started by Inspector General Joseph Boinet and athletics Kenya President Lt. Gen (Rtd) Jack Tuwei.
Leonard Barsoton, also of Kenya Police Service, retained his third position after stopping the clock in 28:26.8 while new comer Charles Mneria Yosei of Nairobi came fourth after crossing in 28:28.6.
In women, Africa 10,000metres champion Alice Aprot found no worth challenger in the upgraded 10kilometres, convincingly winning the race with a one minute 15 seconds gap ahead of her opponents.
“My shape has been good since last year and I am looking forward to a lot this season. My main goal is to qualify for the Olympics (Games) and I trust I will make it,” said the now grown up runner after making a persuasive come-back from injury last year.
Since discovering the winning secrets in Brazzaville in September, Aprot, from the Joseph Ebuya (2011 World Champion) siblings, has won all the races she has started in including 2015 Kass 10kilometres, Tuskys Wareng cross-country and IAAF Permit in San Giogiosu, Italy, on January 6th this year.
She chalked 31:13.2 for the victory with marathoner Beatrice Mutai finishing more than 400metres behind in 32:28.2. Sheila Chepkirui (32:34.0), Daisy Chepkemei (32:41.6) and Janet Kisa (32:48.4), who finished third last year, took third, fourth and fifth positions during the championships that pulled hundreds of spectators.
In the junior class, SandraFelis Chebet of Nairobi covetously safeguarded her unbeaten tradition when she classically won the junior women crown while little known Nickson Kiplagat, also from Nairobi, won the junior women.
The frontrunners prevailed in 18:48.2 and 22:45.9 in the championships held at the historic Uhuru Gardens and attended by athletes from eight foreign countries that included Merhawit Ghide medin and Maele Zerit Weldemariam of Eritrea and Abubakar Abdalla and Fathi Ahmed Adam from Sudan.
Other foreign nationals in the competitions were Gabriele Gerald and Angelina Daniel Tsere of Tanzania, Regassa Bogale and Yigerem Demelash from Ethiopia, Ndiho Vienney (Burundi), and Muhitira Felicien of Rwanda.
The culmination of the competitions was the selection of the national cross-country team that will represent Kenya during the 4th Africa championships in Yaounde, Cameroon on 12th of March this year.
Senior Men 10Km
- Geoffrey Kamworor (Police) 28:19.6
- Bedan Karoki (Central) 28:24.3
- Leonard Barsoton (Police) 28:26.8
- Charles Mneria (Nairobi) 28:28.6
- Philip Langat (South Rift) 28:29.1
- James Rungari (South Rift) 28:36.0
- Peter Ng’eno (Universities) 28:39.9
- John Maina (Central) 28:46.4
- Bernard Waweru (Central) 28:50.3
- James Mwangi (Central) 28:54.9
Senior Women 10km
- Alice Aprot (Nairobi) 31:13.2
- Beatrice Mutai (South Rift) 32:28.2
- Sheila Chepkirui (KDF) 32:34.0
- Daisy Jepkemei (North Rift) 32:41.6
- Janet Kisa (Police) 32:48.4
- Hyvin Kiyeng (Police) 32:51.0
- Pauline Korikwiang (KDF) 32:51.6
- Nancy Nzisa (Prisons) 32:56.4
- Pauline Kaveke (Prisons) 32:58.0
- Monica Ngigi (Central) 33:00.6
Junior Men 8Km
- Nickson Kiplagat (Nairobi) 22:45.9
- Andrew Lorot (Nairobi) 22:47.0
- Isaac Kipsang (Nairobi) 22:49.1
- Willy Kwemoi (North Rift) 22:54.6
- Alfred Ng’eno (South Rift) 23:00.6
- Ronald Kiprotich (South Rift) 23:09.1
- Anthony Kiptoo (Nyanza North) 23:12.0
- Wesley Ledama (South Rift) 23:17.0
- Rhonzas Lokitany (Central Rift) 23:17.4
- Elijah Kositany (South Rift) 23:21.3.
Junior Women 6Km
- Sandrafelis Chebet (Nairobi) 18:48.2
- Miriam Cherop (South Rift) 19:12.0
- Lucy Cheruiyot (Central Rift) 19:12.7
- Gloria Kite (Central Rift) 19:17.4
- Winfred Mbithe (Southern) 19:23.3
- Lilian Lengeruk (North Rift) 19:28.0
- Anne Nyagothie (South Rift) 19:31.6
- W W (Central) 19:37.1
- Brenda Jepleting (Central Rift) 19:38.7
- Emily Chebet (Nairobi) 19:41.1
Media & Communications