Geoffrey Kamworor in action at the IAAF Permit/Athletics Kenya Cross Country meeting in Nairobi (© AFP / Getty Images)
Twelve months on from his surprise defeat, two-time world cross-country champion Geoffrey Kamworor regained his title at the Kenyan Cross Country Championships in Nairobi, while Stacy Ndiwa won an equally competitive women’s race on Saturday (10) to book her spot on the Kenyan team for the African Cross Country Championships.
Kamworor, who finished third last year, broke away from the rest of field after about four kilometres and went on to dominate the 10km race, eventually winning in 28:32.
Emerging talent Alfred Barkach, just 20, took second place in 28:43, six seconds ahead of Macharia Ndirangu.
Although the race doubled as a team trial for the African Cross Country Championships, Kamworor won’t take his spot on the team for that event as his immediate focus is the IAAF/Trinidad Alfonso World Half Marathon Championships Valencia 2018, where he is aiming to win a third straight title.
Ndiwa – who, like Kamworor, won at the Kenya Police Cross Country Championships last month – secured her first national title, winning the women’s 10km event in 32:16.
Three weeks after running a world-leading 30:57 over 10km in Valencia, 2015 world U18 steeplechase silver medallist Sandra Felis Tuei Chebet finished a close second to Ndiwa in 32:18.
Another steeplechase specialist, world U20 record-holder Celiphine Chespol, was further back in third in 32:25.
Beatrice Chepkoech, who set a Kenyan indoor 1500m record of 4:04.21 just four days ago in Dusseldorf, led during the early stages, but – perhaps feeling the effects of her recent indoor efforts – drifted back through the pack and eventually dropped out.
World cross-country silver medallist Alice Aprot also faded during the latter stages and finished eighth, meaning she will likely miss out on the chance to defend her senior women’s title at the African Cross Country Championships.
The junior races were won by world U18 3000m bronze medallist Stanley Waithaka and African junior cross-country champion Miriam Cherop.
1 Geoffrey Kamworor 28:32
2 Alfred Barkach 28:43
3 Macharia Ndirangu 28:49
4 Emmanuel Bor 28:53
5 John Chepkwony 28:58
6 Joseph Bett 28:59
7 Julius Kogo 29:01
8 Bernard Kipkemboi 29:13
9 Patrick Mutunga 29:16
10 Noah Kipkemboi 29:24
1 Stacy Ndiwa 32:16
2 Sandra Chebet 32:18
3 Celiphine Chespol 32:25
4 Margaret Chelimo 32:31
5 Perin Nengampi 32:44
6 Rosemary Njeri 32:52
7 Ruth Jepngetich 32:57
8 Alice Aprot 33:09
9 Grace Kimanzi 33:18
10 Caroline Chepkemoi 33:27