Dominant Rono shines at cross country meet
Gideon Rono of Central Rift ran the rule in the boys 8km Under-20 race at the National Cross Country Championships held Saturday at the Ngong Race Course.
Fresh from winning the Discovery Kenya Cross Country a fortnight ago, Rono was at his best again on Saturday as he clinched the top prize clocking 24:43.6 minutes.
Benson Lagat (Coast) clocked 24:57.3 to finish second as Felix Korir of North Rift placed third in 25:24.2
The form four student at Sinonin Secondary School attributed his fine form to hard work in training at Torongo Athletics Camp in Baringo.
“It was a tough race especially with the weather conditions. I also lost one shoe on the way but I thank God I prevailed to win the race. I am now going to work hard ahead of Africa Cross Country,” said Rono.
At the same time, Rono’s training mate Ismail Kurui won the boys 6km Under-18 race when he clocked 18:39.2 ahead of Lobeki Erigon of Central (18:43.8) and Charles Rotich of North Rift (18:43.8) who placed second and third respectively.
Kurui, a class eight pupil at Sinonin Primary School in Baringo County said he is now ready to bring home a gold medal in the continental showpiece slated for March 7.
“It was not easy, My target was to compete from the front. I was fifth last year and I was ready to battle it for the ticket to Africa Cross. I promise to bring a medal in Togo,” he said.
Purity Chepkirui of South Rift clocked 20:50.2 to win the girls 6km Under-20 race.
The athlete from Tiloa Athletics Camp in Nakuru County said her target was to make the cut to the continental showpiece.
“It was a good race. For me I competed here in 5km last year and finished fifth. It was my first win in 6km and I promise to fight for a gold medal when I represent Kenya in Togo,” said the Class Eight pupil at Tiloa Primary School.
Jackline Chepkoech of Central Rift came home second in 21:16.7 as Feliciana Kanda of North Rift closed the podium in 21:25.1
In the girls 5km Under-18 race, Mercy Chepkemoi also of South Rift took top honours in 17:15.3.
Marion Jepngetich of Central Rift (17:24.8) and Jane Ghati of Nyanza South (17:32.5) placed second and third respectively.