KAMPALA, Uganda, Mar 27 – Irene Cheptai led Kenyans to a first ever podium sweep in the women’s 10km at the IAAF Kampala World Cross Country Championships on Sunday at a packed Kololo Grounds.
The win saw Kenya continue her dominance over the senior women race and ensured the national anthem was sung thrice after collecting the team tile as well from Ethiopia who won it in 2015 in Guiyang, China.
Cheptai won the race in 31:57 ahead of African 10,000m champion Alice Aprot (32:01) and Lilian Kasait (32:11) who settled for bronze.
“I am very happy to win my first ever World Cross Country title. This means alot to me and i am looking forward to competing at the World Championships in London. It was a deep field because we had 3000m steeplechase record holder Ruth Jebet as well as 1500M Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon,” Said Cheptai.
African 10,000m champion Alice Aprot did what she usually does after the first loop, leading the pack of 104 athletes backed by the Kenyan team of defending champion Agnes Tirop, Lilian Kasait, 1500m Olympic champion Faith Chepng’etich, Lilian Kasait, 3000m steeplechase world champion Hyvin Kiyeng and Kenyan-born Ruth Jebet of Bahrain.
It was still tight heading to the second loop where the pack was reduced to nine elite athletes with Aprot still up front followed by Jebet, Chepng’etich, Tirop and Irene Cheptai.
Heading to the third lap, it was evident the title remained in Kenya after a fantastic team work from Aprot, Chepng’etich, Cheptai and Kasait reduced the gap to a battle of five.
The athletes competed over five laps.
-More to follow-