Kwemoi upsets Kandie to lift National Cross Country title
Commonwealth Games 10000m bronze medallist Rodgers Kwemoi stunned favourites to clinch the men’s 10km title at the National Cross Country Championships on Saturday.
The race had been billed as a two-way contest between last year’s winner Kibiwott Kandie of Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) and former champion Geoffrey Kamworor (Police) but Kwemoi had other ideas.
With Kamworor having dropped out, Kwemoi and Kandie were left to square it out and it is the former that edged that battle, winning in 31:03.3 as the half marathon world record holder came second in 31:05.5
“It was very competitive, I realised I could win when we were approaching the last lap and that is why I surged forward then. I knew my competitors were out of gas when I went for the win,” said Kwemoi.
He added, “Now that RAK half was cancelled, I am now focused on the Africa Cross in Togo.”
Edwin Bett of South Rift rounded off the top three in 31:10.9 while Nicholas Kimeli representing Central Rift was fourth in 31:12.4.
In the women’s race, the in-form Sheila Chelangat of Police stormed to a second consecutive title when she clocked 34:55.5 ahead of Daisy Cherotich (35:00.9).
World marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich who was competing for Nairobi clocked 35:02.1 to finish third.
Chepngetich said she was using the race in preparations for the upcoming Istanbul Half Marathon set for April.
“As a marathoner I was surprised to finish third today. I am preparing to compete in Istanbul Half and also the Olympic Games,” she said.
10km senior men
1 Rodgers Kwemoi 31:03.3
2 Kibiwott Kandie 31:05.5
3 Edwin Better 31:10.9
4 Nicholas Kimeli 31:12.4
5 Phenus Kipleting 31:14.6
6 Daniel Mateiko 31:20.2
10km senior women
1 Sheila Chelangat 34:55.5
2 Daisy Cherotich 35:00.9
3 Ruth Chepngetich 35:02.1
4 Agnes Chebet 35:07.7
5 Everlyne Chirchir 35:10.0
6 Hyvin Kiyeng 35:41.1