Kiprop, Cherotich stun favourites to win Discovery Kenya Cross Country
African Games 5000m champion Robert Kiprop destroyed a strong field to win the men’s 10km race at the Discovery Kenya Cross Country held Sunday at the Eldoret Sports Club.
Running on a near-flat course and under a scorching sun, Kiprop timed 30:17.8 to dethrone last year’s winner Nicholas Kimeli who finished second in 30:20.8 while Commonwealth Games 10000m bronze medallist Rodgers Kwemoi placed third in 30:25.3.
World 10000m bronze medallist Rhonex Kipruto was fifth after crossing the finish line in 30:33.5
Kiprop who trains at St Patrick’s High School Iten alongside Kipruto said he is now eyeing a slot in Kenya’s team for the Africa Cross Country slated for Togo in March 1-2.
“It was a very tough race considering the opponents I was facing with the likes of Kipruto and Kwemoi. This is my first race this season and I am now going to work hard as I prepare for the national championships. I am also targeting Olympics in 5000m,” Kiprop said in an interview after the race.
On his part Kwemoi said he was using the race as a warm up for the upcoming Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Half Marathon scheduled for February 19 at the United Arab Emirates.
The fast-rising Daisy Cherotich from Nandi stunned bigwigs in the corresponding women’s race when she took the lead in the second lap of the 2km loop to win the race in 33:53.6
The 20-year-old said she is now shifting her focus to the nationals in a fortnight as she eyes to make her maiden appearance in Kenyan colours.
“I was not expecting to win today but I thank God I made it despite the tough competition. I know it will be much tougher at the nationals but I will do my best,” said Cherotich.
Eva Cherono timed 34:01.9 to finish second as Eunice Chebichi closed the podium in 34:15.7
Reigning Frankfurt Marathon champion Valary Jemeli was fifth in 34:31.3 while African Games 5000m champion Lilian Kasait who recently won the Prison’s championships ranked seventh in 34:41.0
In the boy’s 8km race, Gideon Rono reigned supreme in 23:01.6 as Monicah Jepngetich emerged top in the girl’s 6km race after clocking 20:55.6
The event also doubled as the Central Rift championships, with the region picking their team for the nationals slated for Ngong Race Course in a fortnight.
10km senior men
1 Robert Kiprop 30:17.8
2 Nicholas Kimeli 30:20.8
3 Rodgers Kwemoi 30:25.3
4 Titus Kiptotich 30:28.7
5 Rhonex Kipruto 30:33.5
6 Emmanuel Rutto 30:37.1
10km senior women
1 Daisy Cherotich 33:53.6
2 Eva Cherono 34:01.9
3 Eunice Chebichi 34:15.7
4 Gladys Chepkirui 34:26.2
5 Valary Jemeli 34:31.3
6 Jackline Rotich 34:31.8
6km junior women
1 Monica Jepngetich 20:55.6
2 Jackline Jepkoech 21:00.1
3 Sharon Jerono 21:10.2
4 Brenda Jepchumba 21:27.2
5 Zena Jeptoo 21:29.5
6 Deborah Chemutai 21:33.6
8km junior men
1 Gideon Rono 24:01.6
2 Brian Kiprop 24:31.7
3 Emmanuel Maru 24:36.9
4 Emmanuel Kiplagat 24:39.4
5 Levy Kibet 24:43.5
6 Ismael Kirui 24:46.1