Former world junior 2,000m steeplechase champion Daisy Jepkemei and former world Youth 1,500m champion Lawi Kosgey braved heavy competition to claim the third leg of Athletics Kenya Cross Country meeting held today at Kapsokwony High school ground in Mount Elgon, Bungoma County.
Jepkemei who competes alongside her elder sister Norah Jeruto, Jepkemei capitalized on slow pace to dominate the 10km senior women category.
The former Africa 3,000m winner took charge, extending the lead against former Africa cross bronze medallist and defending champion Beatrice Mutai, All Africa Games 10,000m champion Alice Aprot among other top runners to claim the title in 34:627.
Focusing 2019 Diamond League Jepkemei said she liked running from the front to avoid straining at the finish line.
“The race was tough but I managed to win. I had to run in-front because I feared Alice (Aprot) because she is too strong,” the former AfricaJunior 3000m silver medallist.
Sheila Chelangat timed 35:25.0 for second position before Mutai, who finished4th at the 2018 commonwealth Games completed the podium in 35:34.7.
Breaking away from his 1,500m to venture in 5,000m, Lawi Kosgei faced a stiff competition from Josphat Kipchirchir, reigning Africa Junior cross country champion Nicholas Kimeli to claim the title that was the most competitive.
The former world Youth 1,500m bronze medallist waited until 200m before breaking away to win in 31:02.9.
The race which was dominated by Kipchirchir, had four contenders but Kosgey’sfinishing speed saved him.
“This is my first title in cross country after switching from 1,500m. Iwant to leave a mark in this category,” said the Kenya Defence Forces runner based in Moi Airbase.
Running his third cross country, after finishing 10th in Chebara and6th at Tuskys, Kosgey defeated Kibet Chesumbai (41:04.5) and Robert Kiprop’s 31:07.5.
1. Daisy Jepkemei-34:52.7
2. Sheila Chelangat- 35:25.0
3. Beatrice Mutai-35:34.7
4. Alice Aprot-35:42.1
5. Irene Kamais 36:09.5
6. Beatrice Begi-37:08.4
1. Lawi Kosgei-31:02.9
2. Kibet Chesumbai-31:04.5
3. Robert Kiprop -31:07.5
4. Mathew Kimeli-31:09.0
5. Josphat Kipchirchir-31:18.0
6. Nicholas Kimeli-31:26.07