Daniel Simiu sprinted to victory at the Elgeyo Marakwet County cross country contest yesterday as newcomer Gladys Chepkurui clinched the women’s title.
Simiu and Chepkurui produced brilliant shows at the windswept cross country circuit inside Chepkorio Showgrounds in Keiyo South.
Barely two weeks after chalking up victory in the Spanish 10km race, Simiu unleashed sterling performances in what signaled the start of a great season.
Simiu, who missed an opportunity to represent Kenya at the 2019 World Championships in Qatar, won the men’s signature race in 27:58.4 ahead of Elvis Cheboi (28:23.5).
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He went neck and neck with Cheboi in the first two laps before tactically pulling away in the six-kilometre point to victory.
“The competition was stiff and the pace was too high. I am glad that I sustained the pace. The pace slowed in the six-kilometre mark and I kicked,” Simiu, who won the Machakos Cross Country series last year, said.
He said he is eyeing a slot in the national team to the world cross country championships in Australia in March.
“After cross country, my major focus will be the Olympic Games. I want to represent my country in 5000m at the Tokyo Olympics,” he said.
Siblings Bravin and Robert Kiprop settled for the third and fourth places, clocking 28:27.3 and 28:31.3 respectively.
Kelvin Kibiwott won the junior men 8km in 22:44.9 with Victor Kiprop and Shadrack Chesir settling for second and third places.
In Baringo County, former world cross country champion Agnes Jebet and Shadrack Kipchichir chalked up victories at Metipso Primary school in Eldama Ravine.
Jebet stamped her authority in cross country, winning the senior women’s race in 35:08, beating Lydia Jeruto and Gladys Koech who ran 36:10 and 37:10.
Kipchirchir clocked 30:07 to win the senior men’s race.