Chebet retains Nairobi title
Former world youth silver medallist Sandrafelis Chebet successfully defended her title during the Nairobi Cross Country Championship held at the Kenya Prisons grounds on Langata Road yesterday.
Chebet stormed to an easy victory having led from gun to tape. Even her closest challenger, training mate at Lemotit Athletics Camp in Londiani Emily Chebet, couldn’t cope with her barely halfway through the five-lap course.
Chebet clocked 33:48.5 ahead of Emily who finished a distant second in 35:07.8 with Margaret Nduta coming in third in 35:41.6.
Chebet who had clocked 35:07 at the Posta grounds at the same event last year admitted it was a friendly course.
“I am used to competing in the cross country where there are a lot of obstacles and challenges.
So, today it was easy for me because the course was flat,” said Chebet who finished 9th during the Discovery Cross Country last weekend.
Chebet, who is coached by Paul Kemei said she is now shifting her focus to the national championship slated for February 13 that will also double as trials for Africa Cross Country Championships slated for Lome, Togo.
“It’s not my first time to race in Nairobi, I enjoy it here. I have won five titles, three in seniors and two in juniors.Now I want to make it to the Kenyan team for Africa Cross Country,” said Chebet.
In the senior men’s race, last year’s second place finisher Naibei Kiplimo proved too strong for his competitors winning in 30:04.77 ahead of Peter Mwaniki who clocked 30:09.42 as Shadrack Masai came home third in 30:14.5. With over 70 runners, the race had the biggest number of entrants on the day.
Kenya Prisons Victor Chepkwony took top honours in the 8km junior men’s race clocking 24:42.3 with Jackson Kikana timing 25:00.0 to finish second as Onesmus Gitau sealed the third spot in 25:50.3
In the corresponding junior women’s race, Trizah Cherotich defended her title in a time of 21:25.6 ahead of Dorcas Chepkemoi who timed 21:49.0 with Regina Wambui ranking third in 22:26.9.
Just as Athletics Kenya technical director George Kariuki had predicted, fast times were achieved from the course that was flat.
Kariuki’s assessment was based on the fact that the course did not have the traditional obstacles associated with cross country races.
He said with the nationals coming up on Saturday, the choice of course was reasonable.