Cheptai, Simiyu win North Rift titles

Former world cross country champion Irene Cheptai and upstart Daniel Somiyu dominated the North Rift Athletics Kenya Track and Field Championships held on Saturday at Kenyatta stadium in Kitale, Trans Nzoia County.

Shadrack Kipng’etich (040) followed by Bravin Kogei (L) during 10,000 race. Photo by Sabuni Khwa Sabuni

Returning from maternity leave, Cheptai faced stiff competition from her Elgeyo Marakwet Counterpart Beatrice Cheserek to win 5,000m to book for the national trials slot ahead of IAAF world championships in Doha, Qatar next month.

Cheptai, who finished 7th at the 2017 world championships in London won the race timing 16:08.44 followed by Cheserek in 16:20.14 as Edna Cherotich completed the podium clocking 16:45.10.

Lilian Kasait 051 leading 1,500m race to victory. Photo by Sabuni Khwa Sabuni

With her focus to raise to the stardom, Cheptai said her focus is to win a ticket for world championships, the former world junior silver medalist said that she will be facing a stiff challenge at the nationals.

“Coming from maternity is challenging as I will try to win the ticket. The challenge will be stiff compared with the athletes who will be chasing the title,” said Cheptai.

She added that she will be competing in 10,000m at nationals.

“I was using this event as part of my preparations for speed work,” added Cheptai.

In men’s 5,000m, Elgeyo Marakwet’s Daniel Simiyu won the race in 13:35.73 ahead of Michael Kibet in 13:44.05 before Robert Kiprop ended the podium in 14:04.01.

After winning heat one with the highest speed, Simiyu, for the first time cut into the national trials while Kibet won heat two.

After winning First Lady half marathon, Brilliant Jepkorir and newcomer Shadrack Kipng’etich won the 10,000m in the early morning race.  

Kipngetich, a form three student at Chewoyet secondary school won his maiden title as he faces another hurdle to represent the country.

“I finished second last year but I won today as I plan to represent the country for the first time in Doha,” said Kipngetich who was followed by Bravin Kogei.

Kipng’etich won in 27:53.57 ahead of Kogei’s 28:11.69 as Turkana’s Enos Kales completed the podium in 28:18.36.

Jepkorir won the women’s 10,000m in 33:46.36 ahead of Nancy Jelagat (33:48.14) and Gladys Jepkirui (34:40.5).

Selected results

10,000m women

  1. Brilliant Jepkorir- 33:46.36
  2. Nancy Jelagat- 33:48.14
  3. Gladys Jepkirui- 34:40.05


  1. Shadrack Kipng’etich- 27:53.59
  2. Bravin Kogei- 28:11.69
  3. Enos Kales- 28:18.36

1,500m men

  1. Cornelius Kemboi- 3:45.36
  2. Stephen Kipkoech- 3:46.72
  3. Etyang Kamar- 3:49.89


  1. Lilian Kasait- 4:22.20
  2. Nancy Chepkemoi- 4:23.01
  3. Lydia Njeri-4:24.11

5,000m women

  1. Irene Cheptai- 16:08.44
  2. Beatrice Chesrek- 16:20.14
  3. Edna Cherotich- 16:45.10


  1. Daniel Simiyu- 13:35.73
  2. Michael Kibet- 13:44.05
  3. Robert Kiprop- 14:04.01.
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