Charles Katul crosses the finish line to win the men’s 10km race during the national cross country championship at Ruiru Prisons Staff Training College. PICTURE: SELESTUS MAYIRA

Charles Katul and Ruth Chepngetich were crowned winners of the 10km men’s and women’s races respectively during the national cross country championship held Saturday at Prisons Staff Training College -Ruiru, Kiambu County.

Charles Katul won the men’s five lap race after clocking 29 minutes:16 seconds to come home victorious ahead of Isaac Kibet who was placed second with a hundreth of a second difference while Dennis Kipngetich wound up third after posting 29 minutes:23 seconds.

Boston marathon Champion Ruth Chepngetich was peerless as she led from the beginning to the end to win the corresponding women’s race in 32 Minutes and 56 seconds ahead of Commonwealth games 10,000m bronze winnner Sheila Chepkirui wo was placed second, two seconds adrift as Zenah Jemutai settled for the third place after clocking 33 minutes.06 seconds.

 ‘’I debuted in Marathon in December and I was using the cross country championship to gain speed since am going to participate in my first 42km marathon which is the Boston Marathon in April’’,Sheila Chepkirui said.

In the 8km Under 20 men’s race Japan based Samuel Kibathi was in imperious form breaking from the pack after 3 kilometres to storm home in 23 minutes and 10 seconds relegating Simeon Maiywa and Rono Shadrack to second and third places respectively.

 ‘’I used this particular championship to prepare for the forthcoming Africa Junior Athletics Championship due in Zambia later this year,i am currently training in Ngong and after I missed the world trials last year I am hoping to represent the country in the junior event’’,Kibathi remarked.  

University Of Nairobi,first year Sports Science student Mercy Sang won the 6km U20 women’s race after completing the 3 lap race in 19 minutes and 44 seconds while Chepkirui Miriam finished second,11 seconds adrift as Miriam Chemutai settled for third place.

 ‘’After three kilometers I decided to increase the pace after the one who was leading slowed down,that’s when I decided to go forward and held on to win’’,Mercy Sang said.

Kenya Prisons won the Mixed relay event ahead of Kenya Defence Forces and National Police Service who were ranked in second and third places respectively.

Athletics Kenya used the championship to select a team of 50 athletes who will participate at the Sirikwa Classic Cross country tour formely Agnes Tirop cross country memorial race on February 4th at Lobo Village,Kapseret,Uasin Gishu County.

 ‘’We requested World athletics to give us a chance to give us events and host some events that would be crucial in qualification and ranking system and the Sirikwa meet is one of them.The athletes picked today will continue to prepare on their own since they are not coming in as a team ,they are going to run as individuals.we want to encourage more runners that’s why we selected a large number of 50 and its also important that athletes come and participate so as to get ranking’’ Athletics Kenya President Jack Tuwei said.

 Meanwhile the national cross team that will feature at the 44th edition of the World cross country championship in Barhust Australia is continuing with preparations in Kigari Embu ahead of the global meet.

‘’ We selected a team that will feature at the World cross country in December and are currently in training at Kigari Teachers College in Embu. Today’s event is to give the regions a chance to compete among themselves because we want to give everyone a chance because the other event{cross country championship in December} was by invite only because we had some guidelines on visa application application from the host country Australia and we had to do it earlier’’, remarked Tuwei.

Recommended Articles

Radio Services