Kenyans rule the roost in ISF World School Cross Country Championships

Monday, May 13th, 2024 02:56 | By
Local athletes dominate all races at ISF World School Cross Country Championships in Nairobi. PHOTO/Print
Local athletes dominate all races at ISF World School Cross Country Championships in Nairobi. PHOTO/Print

They say train hard, win easy. This is what happened in the one sided 5.1km Boys U18 category during the ISF World School Cross Country Championship at the Ngong Race Course in Nairobi yesterday.

The class proved a walk in the park for the resilient Kenyans who ‘jogged all the way to the medals.’

The hosts bagged the first four places with Uganda coming in a distant fifth.

Race winner Phanuel Kipkosgei said: “It was a tough race, good preparations helped me to do well and winning at home is such a sweet thing.

I must also admit the residential training at Ngong helped us a lot to do well because we started the build ups much early.

I’m going back home to prepare for the World Under-20 Championships national trials where I also want to make the team.

In the girls under 18 race, Kenya’s Diana Chepkemoi continued the country’s streak of podium sweeps when she won the Under 18 girls’ 3.4km race.

The Africa Under 18 2000m steeplechase bronze medalist clocked 10:47.8, ahead of compatriots Mary Nyaboke (10:51.4) and Dorcus Chepkwemoi (10:53.4) in second and third respectively.

Chepkemoi credited her coaches for the win.

“The race was good and winning today means a lot for me. I have prepared well for the race and the residential camp helped me. I want to thank all coaches for the support and they always gave me advice on what to do,” the 17-year-old said.

For Nyaboke, silver medal was more than a just reward for all the pain she has undergone in steering through the national trials for the global competition, held in March at Nakuru High School.

“I had an injury in Nakuru during the trials and coming in fifth but I’m happy it is better and that’s why I came in second. Training sessions helped me a lot and I believe that it is going to help me get a chance to represent Kenya at the World Under-20 Championships,” the Form Three student at St Peter’s Keberesi High School said.

For Dorcas, focus shifts to the summer where she will be competing at the World Under 20 Championships in Lima, Peru.

“I want to thank God for the strength today where I managed to emerge second. I want to be in team Kenya at the World under 20 championships in August,” the Form 3 student at St Francis Kongit High School said.

Meanwhile, the 3.4km boys U15 race was also an all-Kenyan affair. Peter Lomuryon timed 10:18.6 to lift the boys’ category.

Benson Kirongos finished second in 10.22.5 while third place went to Dan Kibet in 10:33.5.

Lomuryon, 15, from Sinonin High School in Baringo said after the win: “I was second during the trials and I’m glad to have won today. I did not get any injury and the training was good at the residential camp. When we went for the camp, I changed my training pattern, it flavoured my body, and I’m glad it worked for me today as I ran a very calculative race.”

“I didn’t want to lead because that’s the mistake I did during the trials and the tactic paid the dividends,” the form two student reckoned.

Runners up Kirongos stated: “Emerging second has really inspired me and I’m so happy to have made it to the podium.”

“At the trials I was a winner. I want to focus in my training to make sure I do well in future,” added Kirongos who says he is greatly inspired by double Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge.

Kibet, a Grade 8 pupil at Kimobo Primary School in Bungoma County, was elevated with his bronze medal saying: “The race was tight, I had done enough training at the camp which gave me enough skills.

I was fifth at the national trials but had to work hard and run a brilliant race to make it to the podium.”

“Representing Kenya in such magnitude event has given me reasons to do better and soar higher in my events,” added Kibet who is coached by Maxwell Oyoo in Mt Elgon. Kibet too is inspired by the marathon GOAT Kipchoge.

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