Kipruto stars in Discovery Cross Country
World under-20 10,000m champion Rhonex Kipruto prevailed in a scorching sun to claim the honours in the 10km race at the 28th edition of the Discovery Kenya cross country held Sunday at the Eldoret Sports Club in Uasin Gishu County.
Kipruto las year winner in the 8km junior men, cut the tape in 30:40.3 ahead of World Under-20 5000m champion Edward Zakayo who clocked 30:46.9 while the defending champion Josephat Kipchirchir settled for the third place in 30.50.5.
Kipruto who hails from Elgeyo Marakwet county and Kichirchir from Nandi were locked in a toe to toe contest with Kipruto leading in the earlier stages before surrendering the lead to Kipchirchir with a lap to go.
It was in the last lap that Kipruto once again showcased his class to clinch the title while Zakayo outsprinted Kipchirchir in the latter stages to finish as the runner-up.
The in-form Kipruto said his main focus now is to make it to the team Kenya for the World Cross country championships slated for March 30 in Aarhus, Denmark.
“Apart from the hot sun I think the race was good for me although it was also very competitive.
I am now going to prepare for the regional championships on 9th thereafter I will shift my focus to the trials where my main aim is to qualify for world cross,” said the IAAF Male Rising Star nominee.
On his part, Zakayo said he hopes to build on today’s performance in order to make the cut for the global championships.
“The result is not that bad but the conditions were not good enough either. For me it was too windy but I hope to do well in the regional and also in the upcoming trials,” said Zakayo, the 2018 Sports Personality of the Year Award (SOYA) most promising boy.
In the women 10km race, Brilian Jepkorir from Iten emerged top clocking 27:36.1 followed by Beatrice Chepkemoi 21:06.6 while Dorcas Chepchirchir came in third in 27:47.9.
“I didn’t expect to win in today but as the race went on I realised that I could win and thus I pushed for the win even though it was too sunny,” said Jepkorir.
Jepkorir finished fifth in 3000m flat at the 2012 world junior games held in Barcelona and later in 2011 she finished ninth in the junior category at the World cross country championships.
“If I will get a chance to represent Kenya again it will be an honour and therefore I am going to prepare well for the regionals and the nationals,” said Jepkorir.
Michael Kibet continued his winning streak as he stormed to victory in the 8km junior men in 24:20.3 as Joseph Muigai 24:23.7 and Reuben Longosiwa 24:33.6 finished second and third respectively.
Kibet the winner of the Wareng cross country said he is ready to fight for the ticket to Denmark at the nationals.
” It was a good race for me I think I am now ready to compete with anyone at the trials,” said Kibet who is also the winner of the Kapsokwony Athletics Kenya (AK) meet last year December.
Meanwhile, the red-hot Beatrice Chepkoech once again dominated the 6km junior women crossing the finish line in 20:53.9 leading the 800m specialised Lydia Jeruto who finished second in 21:06.6 as Caren Chebet the training partner of Beatrice clocked 21:20.5 to close the podium.
1 Rhonex Kipruto 30:40.3
2 Edward Zakayo 30:46.9
3 Josephat Kipchirchir 30:50.5
4 Nicholas Kipkorir 30:56.5
5 Moses Kibet 31:04.9
6 Erick Kiptoo 31:18.2
1 Brilian Jepkorir 27:36.1
2 Beatrice Chepkemoi 27:42.5
3 Dorcas Chepchirchir 27:47.9
4 Valary Aiyabei 27:53.2
5 Rachael Chebet 28:09.6
6 Lydia Njeri 28:36.9
8km junior men
1 Michael Kibet 24:20.3
2 Joseph Muigai 24:23.7
3 Reuben Longosiwa 24:33.6
4 Cleophas Kandie 24:35.5
5 Gedion Rono 24:45.2
6 Kelvin Kibiwott 24:55.2
6km junior women
1 Beatrice Chebet 20:53.9
2 Lydia Jeruto 21.06.6
3 Caren Chebet 21:20.5
4 Janet Chepkoech 21:20.6
5 Winnie Kimutai 21:31.8
6 Feliciana Kanda 21:38.8