Obiri beats Kipyegon at Machakos AK cross series
Olympics silver medallist, Hellen Obiri won her second senior women’s 10km race in the 2016/17 Athletics Kenya National Cross Country Series when she topped Rio gold winner Faith Chepng’etich in Machakos on Saturday.
Olympian Charles Yosei Mneria took the honours in the men 10km as Shadrack Langat and Edna Chebitok rounded the winning quartet on the day in the men 8km and women 6km junior races.
The battle between Rio 2016 teammates Obiri who took the second medal in 5000m and Chepng’etich who soared to the 1500m highlighted the fourth leg of the domestic cross series and the pair rose to the occasion in a tight finish.
The 2012 World Indoor 3000m winner breast the tape in 33:29 after deploying the afterburners in the final 600m as Chepng’etich who has two junior IAAF World Cross titles under her belt led the challengers home in 33:47.
Beatrice Chepkemoi who finished 11th at the 40th IAAF World Cross in Bydgoszcz, Poland in 2013 settled for third place in 33:56.
“My training has not been that bad since I have been preparing for cross country. Machakos was very competitive compared to previous meetings since I was with Faith, an Olympics gold medallist who is also a world silver medalist. My win here tells me that my training is heading in the right Direction. I shall work on my endurance.
“I’m looking forward to competing at the KDF Cross Country and the national Trials in February and hopefully I shall make the World Cross team,” Obiri who is eyeing a slot in Team Kenya for the Kampala World Cross said.
Obiri praised the Machakos Boys High School Course noting she could have won more decisively in the sunny and windy conditions having come to the event on the back of winning the first meeting in Nairobi last month.
“Nairobi was not that competitive because it was the first leg and that is why I easily won the race. Machakos was more like a Trial.
“All eyes were on Faith and I and it challenged us. We raced together with until the last one kilometer. I surged forward and saw she was not coming after me. So it gave me confidence to go for it,” Obiri, the Moscow world championship bronze medallist explained.
Having failed to hit the heights in Rio where he fielded in the 5000m race, Mneria underlined his intentions for a rewarding winter season when he comfortably won the men’s senior showdown in 29:33 with Peter Emase and home runner Bernard Katui Muia rounding the podium in 29:46 and 29:53.
In the men’s 8km junior race, Langat stopped the timer at 24:03 in a tightly contested race ahead of Nickson Kiplagat who clocked 24:05. Richard Kimunyal settled for third place in 24:07 to complete the podium places.
Edna Jebitok won the junior women 6km race in 20:21 followed closely by Zipporah Chemutai who stopped the timer at 20:31 while Joyline Cherotich finished third in 20:37.
Senior men’s 10km
- Charles Mneria 29:33.
- Peter Emase 29:46
- Katui Muia 29:53
- Stephen Arita 29:59
- Andrew Lorot 31:00
- Jonathan Ndiku 30:18
Senior women’s 10km
- Hellen Obiri 33:29
- Faith Chepng’etich 33:47
- Beatrice Chepkemoi 33:56
- Gladys Cherono 34:24
- Pauline Cherono 34:31
- Agnes Chesang 35:18
Junior men’s 8km
- Shadrack Langat 24:03
- Nickson Kiplagat 24:05
- Richard Kimunyal 24: 07
- Elijah Kosgey 24:09
- Ben Mosonik 24:12
- Vincent Nyatich 24:16
Junior women’s 6km
- Edna Jebitok 20:21
- Zipporah Chemutai 20:31
- Joyline Cherotich 20:37
- Winfred Mutile 20:43
- Betty Chesang 20:47
- Ivine Cheptomoi 20:54