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Magengo and Chesang shine as Uganda’s team takes shape

Magengo, a junior ace turned senior ace, dominated the main race of the day at the foothills of Tororo rock on Saturday. PHOTOS LOUIS JADWONG

🔴 Leading Cross Country results

✳ 10km Senior women
1. Stella Chesang 33:57
2. Prisca Chesang 34:06
3. Annet Chelangat 34:13

✳ 6km U20 women
1. Isella Chebet 20:36
2. Peace Hope Chemutai 20:37
3. Charity Cherop 20:41

✳ 10km Senior men
1. Martin Magengo Kiprotich 29:35
2. Isaac Kibet 29:43
3. Samuel Kibet 29:46

✳ 10km  – U20 men
1. Kenneth Kiprop 29:29
2. Silas Rotich 30:27
3. Dan Kibet 30:39

Tororo, Uganda | LOUIS JADWONG | An error by officials that had the junior men run 10km instead of 8km at the National Cross Country Championships on Saturday, has inadvertently revealed the strenght of the Under 20s, and also, shown that the senior men will have some work to do ahead of Bathurst in February.

Kenneth Kiprop, who thought he was cruising to the finish line, was like others shocked when officials directed that he had one more 2km lap to go. Since he had a healthy lead at that point, Kiprop reluntanctly obeyed the instructions. He raced on but continously looked behind in doubt, as the crowd that had noticed the error, murmured.

Luckily for Kiprop, he still had some gas in the tank as he produced an astonishing time of 29:29 over the 10km distance. The time turned out to be six seconds better than that produced by the senior men’s champion Martin Magengo, over the same distance.

Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) general secretary Beatrice Ayikoru told that their technical team will review video footage  to consider some junior runners who stood a chance for Bathurst, at the official 8km point.

“We are taking in a big group and they will all be considered. We have time to clean this up,” Ayikoru promised after compaints by athletes who were made to run an extra 2km.

In the men’s senior race, Magengo took full advantage of the absence of World Cross Country champion Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo, Silver medalist at the last event in Aarhus, Denmark. By the 6km point, Magengo was fully in charge of the race, and he coasted to victory well ahead of the pack in 29:35 at the Tororo golf course venue.

Chesang (top) and Kiprop won the women and junior men’s races, Cheptegei (above) was a spectator in Tororo. Bottom, Chief Guest Apollo Yeri Ofwono, MP of Tororo Municipality flags off the women’s race.

The big news in the women’s races was the return to full cross country form of Stella Chesang.

Chesang, the 2018 Commonwealth 10,000m champion, has had a great year that has seen her set three national records – 10km (30:40), 10,000m (31:01.04) and half marathon (1:08:11).

Negbours and rivals Kenya also held their World Championships qualifier on Saturday in Ruiru, and comparative results from there indicate the Uganda senior men’s team will have some work to do in the next one month to keep up to pace.

The Uganda Athletics Federation had before the Tororo race said that only those who make it to Tororo, will book tickets to Bathurst.

Both Kenyan and Ugandan events that were trials for the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 23 were held earlier than usual to allow extra time for athletes to adjust to the new calendar, and also to process the necessary travel documents for the global event, due 18 February.

“We have now said that the athletes who want to be part of the Uganda team in Australia, must compete in our national championships,” UAF President Dominic Otuchet stressed days to the Tororo competition.

If the UAF stick to their selection plan, the world’s top two cross country runners, defending champion Cheptegei and silver medalist at the last event in 2019 Kiplimo, could miss the trip to Australia.

🔴 Leading results from Kenya cross country championships

✳ Senior women (10km)
1 Grace Loibach 32:33
2 Edinah Jepitok 32:38
3 Irene Cheptai 32:54
4 Agnes Jebet 33:00
5 Viola Chepngeno 33:14

✳ Senior men (10km)
1 Sebastian Kimaru Sawe 28:23
2 Daniel Simiu 28:28
3 Kibiwott Kandie 28:31
4 Emmanuel Kiprop 28:32
5 Nicholas Kipkorir 28:35

✳ U20 women (6km)
1 Faith Cherotich 19:16
2 Sheila Chebet 19:33
3 Joyline Chepkemoi 19:36
4 Nancy Jerop 19:39
5 Marion Chepngetich 19:49

✳ U20 men (8km)
1 Ismael Kirui 23:03
2 Raynold Kipkorir 23:07
3 Dennis Kipkirui 23:13
4 Raphael Dabash 23:17
5 Gideon Kipngetich 23:23


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