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Obiri in search of first Cross Country medal

Commonwealth Games 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri will be seeking her first medal in cross country after she was named in the world cross country team.

Obiri, who has achieved much on track, running Olympic Games 5,000m silver medalist, Commonwealth Games and world championships titles, stunned experienced cross country runners to win the national trials held on Saturday at Eldoret Sports Club.

Amos Kirui wins 10km senior men. Photo Alington Simwa

The Olympic 5,000m silver medalist said she will be chasing her first medal at the world cross country set for 30th March in Aarhus, Denmark.

“This is the only medal I don’t have in my cabinet and I would like to work hard and get one for my country and myself. I know it will be difficult now that am coming from track but I will do my best to come home with a medal,” said Obiri.

Samuel Chebole wins 8km race. Photo Alington Simwa

Running for kenya Defence Forces (KDF) Obiri said she is competing in cross country now that they are off season on track until. With Diamond Leagues set for May, she said she had to get endurance to ensure she remains in top form.

“This cross country is part of my build up for track events set for May. I have to seek for endurance and competing in cross country will give me an upper hand when I begin my track season in May,” added the Diamond League winner.

Beatrice Chebet wins 6km junior men. Photo Courtesy Alington Simwa

On Saturday, Obiri stunned former Africa cross country bronze medalist Beatrice Mutai from South Rift as well as her KDF counterpart Deborah Samum and Kenya Police side Beatrice Chepkoech.

It was a surprise for as former world under 20 3,000m steeplechase champion Amos Kirui stunned two time world cross country champion Geoffrey Kamworor to win the men’s 10km race.

Kirui from South Rift led Central Rift’s Evans Keitany and Rodgers Kwemoi as Richard Kimunyan also of Central in 4th before Kamworor came in 5th position.

In 6km senior women, world under 20 5,000m champion Beatrice Chebet from South Rift won  the race ahead of Betty Jepkemboi (Central Rift) and Jackline Rotich (South Rift) while Samuel Chebole won the men’s 8km title.

The North Rift runner defeated his South Rift’s Emmanuel Kiprotich to second and Leonard Bett of South Rift.

Selected team

10km senior men

1.       Amos Kirui (South Rift)- 29:50.5

2.       Evans Keitany (Central Rift)- 29:57.4

3.       Rodgers Kwemoi (Central Rift)- 29:59.3

4.       Richard Kimunyan (Central Rift)- 30:00.1

5.       Geoffrey Kamworor (Police)- 30:03.9

6.       Rhonex Kipruto (North Rift)-30:08.1

Reserves

10km senior women

1.       Hellen Obiri (KDF)- 33:14.9

2.       Beatrice Mutai (South Rift)-33:24.3

3.       Beatrice Chepkoech (Police)-33:54.7

4.       Deborah Sumum (KDF)-34:06.4

5.       Eva Cherono (South Rift)-34:09.9

6.       Lilian Kasait (Prisons)-34:14.3

6km (under 20) junior women

1.       Beatrice Chebet (South Rift)-20:02.4

2.       Betty Jepkemboi (Central Rift)-20:31.2

3.       Jackline Rotich (South Rift)-20:39.9

4.       Agnes Mwikali (South Rift)-20:42.4

5.       Lydia Jeruto (Central Rift)-20:44.2

6.       Mercy Chepkoriri (Nairobi)- 20:46.6

8km (under 20) junior men

1.       Samuel Chebolei (North Rift)-24:09.8

2.       Emmanuel Kiprotich (South Rift)- 24:17.9

3.       Leonard Bett (South Rift)-24:25.0

4.       Edwin Kosgey (South Rift)-24:26.0

5.       Charles karuri (North Rift)- 24:31.2

6.       Kibet Kandie (Central Rift)-24:34.3

Source: The Star

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