By Joseph Ngure
Africa 10,000m champion Kenneth Kipkemoi launched his cross-country bid with unmatched victory in Eldoret over the weekend.
Kipkemoi, who made his first international debut during the Africa Senior Championship in Benin this year, displayed his cross-country talent by winning the senior men’s 12 km in the inaugural Eldoret Educational Resource Centre race.
He clocked 35:45.3 in the category with more than 100 participants after being flagged off by Kenyan born Dane Wilson Kipketer and going through the windy course at the institution located 6km east of Eldoret town.
“I am now training for the World cross-country next year and today, the win has given me the message. I can run and win the cross-country world title,” said Kipkemoi, who trains at Strawburg Training camp in Kaptagat.
During the charity race, retired athletes Patrick Sang, William Mutwol and others joined upcoming runners in the gesture to aid uplift lives of needy children in the society.
Upcoming marathoner Daniel Kipkemei checked in second, timing 36:08.4, while last year’s Africa cross-country silver medalist Stephen Kiprotich of One4One Athletics club came third in 36:13.5
Commonwealth 10,000m silver medalist Daniel Lamashon Salel finished fourth in 36:15.8 ahead of Victor Kipchirchir (36:27.2) during the event that attracted more than 1,000 participants spread in 10 running categories.
In senior women, cross-country jackpot chaser Farida Chelanga stole the show, beating Beatrice Jepkemoi in the class that assembled 57 participants.
The winner stopped the clock at 27:27.3. While trailer Jepkemoi crossed in 27:40.4 with Pricilah Lorchima sealing the podium in 27:42.5 for Bronze.
Recent discoveries Stacy Ndiwa and Eunice Chebichii finished fourth and fifth timing 27:49.3 and 27:59.3 in that order respectively.