Cross Country: Kamworor rules at national meeting as Ndiwa wins in senior women race

Stacy Ndiwa (left) and Sandra Felis Chebet competes during the 2018 National Cross Country Championships at Uhuru Gardens. [Dennis Okeyo, Standard]

World Half marathon champion shows his class.

World Half Marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor proved too strong for his opponents as Stacy Ndiwa dominated the women’s 10km race yesterday at the Athletics Kenya National Cross Country Championship cum trials at Uhuru Gardens.

The two-time World Cross Country champion Kamworor burst into the front with 4km covered shaking off the spirited challenge from Alfred Barkach to win his third national cross country title after clocking 28:31.9.

2018 cross country Geoffrey Kamworor wins men's 10km during the 2018 National Cross Country Championships at Uhuru Gardens. [Dennis Okeyo, Standard]

Kamworor will, however, not feature in the forthcoming Africa Cross Country Championships due in Chlef, Algeria on March 7 as he is preparing to defend his IAAF World Half Marathon title in March 24 in Valencia, Spain.

“Today, I was using this championships as part of my preparations towards the World Half Marathon, where my hope is to defend my title, I want to win it three times in a row, “ Kamworor said. 

Central Rift’s Barkach was second in 28:42.9 while Macharia Ndirangu of Central closed the podium finish after clocking 28:49.3.

Emmanuel Bor (Central Rift) came in fourth in 28:52.5 and was followed by KDF’s John Chepkwony and Josphat Bett of Police in fifth and sixth places in 28:57.3 and 28:58.3, respectively.

In the women race, fresh from winning the Police Service Cross Country Championships last month, Ndiwa, 25, timed her race to perfection as she clocked 32:15.6 to shake off Sandra Felis Chebet (32:17.1) to second place.

World Junior steeplechase champion and Kenya Prison Service recruit Celiphine Chespol stopped the clock in 32:24.3 to finish third while Police’s Margaret Chelimo was fourth in 32:30.3.

KDF’s Perin Nenkampi crossed the line in 32: 43.6 for fifth place followed by Rosemary Njeri of Nairobi region in sixth place after 32:51.4.

The Iten-based Ndiwa who finished fifth at the 2015 World Cross Country in Guiyang, China said: “I had prepared well, and really glad to beat this strong field. “My aim was to make the national team and I’m grateful I have made it”.

In the junior ranks, Africa Cross Champion Junior champion Miriam Cherop, a Form Three student at Aisaik Secondary School in Silibwet, Bomet County, ruled in the women’s 6km race timing 19:03.7 ahead of Roselinda Jepketer (19:05.9) as Beatrice Chebet settled for the third place in 12:19.9.

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