Obiri, Kandie win KDF Cross Country titles
World Cross Country champion Hellen Obiri reclaimed her Kenya Defence Forces Cross Country championship title on Friday after last dethroning last year’s winner Joyce Chepkemoi at the Moi Airbase in Eastleigh, Nairobi.
Obiri, who skipped last year’s race due to injury, clocked 33:25.1 to seal her victory and a fifth crown at the event with Chepkemoi settling for second spot in 33:32.6 and Sheila Chepkirui coming home third in 33:47.0.
The World Half marathon record holder Kibiwott Kandie notched his third consecutive title in the men’s race as the competition marked its 40th edition.
“For me the next race will be the nationals which I will be competing for KDF and thus I will not be seeking to represent Kenya at the Africa Cross in Togo. At the moment I am working towards making my debut in the half marathon next month in RAK,” said Obiri.
Obiri, also the world 5000m champion said her season is only unfolding as she is also gearing towards the Olympics where she is targeting her maiden gold medal.
“At the moment I can say I am at 80 percent of my best form and thus I am planning to start my build up for the Olympics in March since I am only missing an Olympic title in my career,” said Obiri.
On his part, the in-form Kandie picked from where he left last month when he broke the half marathon world record as he stormed to victory in 29:24.5 ahead of Collins Koros (29:32.5) and Eric Kiptanui (29:40.5) who finished second and third respectively.
Kandie said his top priority is to retain both the national and the RAK half titles next month.
“It was a very competitive race. I can tell you my competitors had prepared well and this win today did not come easily. I want to defend my national title and that tells you that I have a lot to do since it will not be easy in Ngong,” said Kandie.