Kimunyan, Chelagat win Kisii AK meet

Kimunyan, Chelagat win Kisii AK meet

Japan-based Richard Kimunyan and Josephine Chelagat from Kericho are the winners of the fourth and final series of Athletics Kenya (AK) Cross Country held Saturday at the Kisii Sports Club.

Kimunyan cut the tape in 28:58.4 ahead of Davis Kiplagat who finished second in a time of 29:02.4 while Gilbert Kimunyan, a training partner of Richard finished third in 29:04.8.

The 20-year-old  Kimunyan who boasts a personal best of 12:59.44 in 5,000m he set last year at Brussels Diamond League said he enjoyed the course which is similar to Torongo where he trains in Kenya aside from Japan.

“The course here was very friendly because it is similar to where I train in Torongo which is hilly. Initially I had fear because I was coming up against Gilbert who is also my training partner,” said Kimunyan.

With the World Cross Country Championship his major target, Kimunyan said he will step up his bid to make it to team Kenya with a cross country race in Netherlands in a week’s time.

“My target is to earn a slot in team Kenya for World Cross and on 19th (January) I will be having a race in Netherlands then I will grace the national trials before I depart for Japan,” said Kimunyan.

In the corresponding women race, it was a tight race with Chelagat clocking 34:01.9 followed closely by Margaret Wangare who clocked 34:02.2 while Quailyne Kiprop came in a distant third in a time of 34:15.5.

World under-18 2,000m silver medalist Cleophas Kandie Meyan ruled the 8km junior men race when he crossed the finish line in 23:04.6 ahead of Bomet’s Duncan Kiprotich ( 23:09.5) and Gedion Rono (23:11.5).

Meyan who also trains at Torongo training camp in Baringo County said he was targeting to improve on the sixth-place finish he achieved at the second AK meet held in Ol Kalou.

“Although my target was to improve on today’s race, I did not expect to win. Right now my focus is on the Discovery Kenya Cross Country and  thereafter I will look forward to the national trials because my main target is the World Cross,” Meyan revealed.

Meanwhile, Janet Chepkoech from Lemotit Athletics Club in Londiani ran the show in the 6km junior women with an emphatic finish that saw her win the race in 19:36.7.

Home girl Janet Ghati who led for the better part of the race finished second in 19:42.0 as Vanis Cherono completed the podium in 19:46.2.

The youngster under the tutelage of Paul Kemei said the win is a morale booster as she strives to make the cut to Team Kenya for the World Cross.

“This was my first win and it will definitely inspire me ahead of the trials,” said Chepkoech.

The Kisii event marked the end of the AK cross country meets in this calendar year.

The first series was held in Machakos on November 17 before Ol Kalou played  host to the second meet on December 1.

Later in December 15, athletes converged at Kapsokwony in Mt Elgon for the penultimate series which was also the last in 2018.

After the Kisii meet, focus will now turn to county and regional competitions that will culminate in the national championships cum trials for the World Cross Country Championships to be held at the Eldoret Sports Club on February 23.

Summarised results

6km junior women

1 Janet Chepkoech 19:36.7

2 Jane Ghati 19:42.0

3 Vanis Cherono 19:46.2

4 Mercy Chepkorir 19:48.3

5 Carren Chebet 19:54.7

6 Dolphine Omare 20:02.0


8km junior men

1 Cleophas Kandie 23:04.6

2 Duncan Kiprotich 23:09.3

3 Gedion Rono 23:11.5

4 Hillary Mosop 23: 19.2

5 Emmanuel Kiplangat 23:35.5

6 Francis Charito 23:37.5

10km senior women

1 Josephine Chelagat 34:01.9

2 Margaret Wangare 34:02.2

3 Quailyne Kiprop 34:15.5

4 Beatrice Begi 34:21.0

5 Juliet Chekwel 34:26.1

6 Gladys Chepkurui 34:32.8

10km senior men

1 Gilbert Kimunyan 28:58.4

2 Davis Kiplagat 29:02.4

3 Gilbert Kimunyan 29.04.8

4 Elvis Cheboi 29:16.4

5 Gedion Kipngetich 29:21.0

6 Kiprono Koech 29:23.3