Kirui, Cheptai top
Tuskys Wareng cross country hotly contested
Africa Cross Country junior silver medallist Ronald Kirui tore through a strong field to win the 12th Tuskys Wareng cross country yesterday in Eldoret yesterday.
Kirui, who is still a junior athlete ran over established runners including the IAAF world cross country champion Japhet Korir and world cross country junior champion Moses Mukono.
Kirui clocked 28:03 to take the title from Mukono’s reach after he missed the path to the finish line.
Mukono settled for second in 28:07 while Timothy Rono timed 28:08 to seal the podium positions.
Former world cross country champion Korir came fourth in 28:14 ahead of Leonard Lang’at ( 28:19 ) and Bernard Kipkemoi ( 28:25 ) who followed in that order.Kirui who paced the Delhi Half Marathon last weekend where Olympic champion Eliud Kip- choge won, said he is hoping to represent Kenya at the world cross country championships.
The trio commanded the race exchanging leads and at the final whistle, Mukono was calling the shots.
However, heading to the tape he missed the path allowing Kirui to overtake him.Kirui has represented Kenya twice at the Africa cross country and world junior championships this year in Poland where he finished seventh over 10,000m.
“I am still a junior runner and today I came to test the waters in the senior category because I am about to graduate.I still have to run at the world cross country before I move to senior ranks,”Kirui said.
Irene Cheptai who settled for seventh in 5000m at the Beijing championships carried the day. She clocked 31:15 to win the women’s 10km cat- egory beating former world youth Olympic champion Gladys Chesir to second in 31:41 while Vivian Jemutai finished third in 32:01.
Jackline Adunyona was fourth in 32:04 as Magdaline Masai timed 32:12 for fifth. Beatrice Chepkoech, who represented Kenya in the 3000m steeplechase at the Rio Olympic Games, closed the top six finishers in 32:16.
“I have represented Kenya in world cross country but in junior championships and it is my prayer to work hard to makle the team for Kampala show,”Cheptai said.
In the men’s 8km junior, Nicholas Kimeli shone in 22:15 beating Edwin Kiptoo to second in 22:20 as Josphat Kipchirchir timed 22:22 in third.
Lilian Kasait reaffirmed her supremacy over world youth silver medallist Sandra Chebet in the 6km junior women.
THE TRIO COMMANDED THE RACE AND AT THE FINAL WHISTLE MUKONO WAS CALLING THE SHOTS
Junior runner Ronald Kirui wins the 12th Tuskys Wareng cross country 10km men’s race in Eldoret./