Chepkoech, Kipkirui win Ndalat Gaa races
Former Africa cross country champion Caroline Chepkoech and little-known Nicodemus Kipkirui yesterday won the seventh edition of the Ndalat Gaa cross country meeting in Nandi County.
Sandra Chebet, the reigning World Youth 3,000m champion and Africa cross country silver medallist Andrew Lorot also chalked up wins at the windswept course at the Ndalat Gaa Girls’ High School.
Organisers re-formatted the men’s senior race from the traditional 12km to 10km while juniors contested in the usual 8km as did women who competed in six and eight kilometre races.
The showpiece, which attracted more than 20,000 fans, did not disappoint with former world cross-country champion Joseph Ebuya, who won the meet in 2009 Ndalat Gaa before going ahead to bag the world cross-country title in Bydgoszcz in 2010, finishing in distant 24th position.
In the senior women’s category, Chepkoech was simply in a class of her own as she won in 20:45.5 ahead of former world cross country competitor Gladys Chemweno (20:55.2), Lilian Cheruto (21:08.2) and former Frankfurt Marathon winner Georgina Rono (21:14.7).
Chepkoech said: “I am happy for the win. The weather was hot and I hope to make the team to Africa cross country championships next year.”
Sandra Chebet won the junior crown in 20:33.4 beating Africa youth starlets in Beatrice Kirui (20:58.7), Betty Chepkemoi (21:22.1) and Eva Cherono (21:22.7).
Kipkirui won the senior men’s title in 24:13.7 ahead of Kipkemoi Benard (24:19.3), Isacc Kipkoech (24:21.9) and Michael Bett (24:23.4). Kiprono Kurgat (24:26.3), Fredrick Kipkosgei (24:30.7) and Cleophas Ngetich (24:35.5) followed.
Andrew Lorot won in 24:30.9 upstaging Nicholas Kemei (24:32.9), Dominic Kiptarus (24:36.9) and Peter Kipserem (24:38.6). There were several kids and veteran races in the morning before the start of the four elite cross country categories.
There were a huge number of world beating athletes among them Vivian Cheruiyot, Ezekiel Kemboi, Asbel Kiprop and Eunice Sum who graced the event.
Tourism Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie and Nandi Governor Cleophas Lagat were also present alongside several MPs.
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