Jepkemei, Kosgei roar to victory in Kapsokwony AK meet
Former World Junior 3,000m steeplechase champion Daisy Jepkemei and Lawi Kosgei are the winners of the third Athletics Kenya (AK) Cross Country meet held Saturday at Kapsokwony High School, Bungoma County.
Jepkemei powered to victory in the 10km senior women in a time of 34:52.7minutes ahead of Sheila Chelangat who clocked 35:25.0 while Beatrice Chepkemoi settled for the third spot in 35:31.7.
Jepkemei who is the younger sister of the 2016 3,000m steeplechase African champion Norah Jeruto said she was preparing for next season’s IAAF Diamond League although she did not rule out the chance of representing Kenya in the World Cross if the chance comes along.
” I did not expect to win the race because I was coming up against other experienced athletes like Alice Aprot but I thank God I managed to win. My priority next year is to have an impressive start in the Diamond League in May,” she said in reference to her planned assault in both the 3,000m steeplechase and 5000m.
In the corresponding men race, Kosgei revelled in what was his maiden cross country win in three attempts.
“For me it’s a dream come true to win my first ever cross country and I have seen that I am capable of even making it to team Kenya with a little bit of hard work,” said Kosgei.
The soldier from Moi Airbase, Nairobi said he’ll now resume preparations ahead of the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) Cross Country Championships slated for January 25.
Meanwhile, Iten-based Michael Kibet made light work of his opponents as he ruled the 8km junior men race dominating from start to finish clocking 24:22.8 ahead Charles Kakuri (24:32.1) and Gideon Kipngetich (24:39.7).
Fresh from winning the Wareng Cross Country a fortnight ago, Kibet clearly underscored his intentions to win the race when he pulled ahead of the more than 100 participants in the opening stages and never let the gas off the pedal.
The Chewoyet High School alumni said his main target is to make it to team Kenya for the World Cross Country Championships.
“My intention coming to this race was to break early and when I did that no one challenged me until I crossed the finish line. I am going to discuss with my coach if I am going to participate in the Kisii Race because I am working towards the national trials,” Kibet said.
In the 6km junior women category, newcomer Winnie Kimutai from Elgeyo Marakwet well cut the tape in 21:15.12 followed by Emmaculate Chepkurui in 21:16.8 while Monica Chichir closed the podium in 21:21.1.
Kimutai who is a Form Three student at Kapsait Secondary School said she was earlier intimidated and never expected to win reckoning the victory has given her extra motivation.
10km senior men
1 Lawi Kosgei 31:02.0
2 Kibet Chesumbai 31:04.5
3 Robert Kiprop 31:07.5
4 Mathew Kimeli 31:09.0
5 Josphat Kipchirchir 31:18.0
10km senior women
1 Daisy Jepkemei 34:52.7
2 Sheila Chelagat 35:25.0
3 Beatrice Chepkemoi 35:31.7
4 Alice Aprot 35:42.1
5 Irene Kimais 36:09.5
8km junior men
1 Michael Kibet 24:22.8
2 Charles Kakuri 24:32.1
3 Gideon Kipngetich 24:39.7
4 Edwin Kiplangat 24:49.0
5 Bravin Kogei 25:54.3
6km junior women
1Winnie Kimutai 21:15.2
2 Emmaculate Chepkurui 21:16.8
3 Monica Chirchir 21:21.1
4 Emmaculate Anyango 21:28.2
5 Josephine Chelangat 21:34.0