Justin Lagat wrote this piece on ther Kenyan CC champs, and updated us on the new winners, and the confusion near the finish in the men’s senior race.
Kibiwot Kandie and Sheila Chelangat are Kenya’s new cross country champions:
The Kenyan national cross country championships that happened over the weekend (on the 15th of February 2020) in Nairobi at the Ngong Race Course served to usher in new stars to watch out for in the lead up to the Tokyo Olympic Games. The championships were to happen on 8th but had to be postponed after the death of the nation’s second and longest ever to serve president, Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi.
Two new national champions emerged in both the men’s and women’s senior races.
Kibiwot Kandie recently came into the limelight after beating Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo in one of the most prestigious road races in Brazi. Kandie also set a new course record for the 95-year-old 15 km Silvester de Sao Paulo Road Race. This proved that he is indeed a man to watch out for, as he defeated Geoffrey Kamworor in another dramatic finish to deny the seven times’ national champion another chance to extend his reign.
Kamworor had led the senior men’s race almost from the start only for Kandie, who was following him closely, to take advantage of some confusion towards the end of the race when Kamworor was seemingly misdirected on the home straight to the finish line. Kamworor was too late to sprint after Kandie and settled for the second position ahead of Nicholas Kimeli.
Relatively new, but very talented, Sheila Chelangat won the women’s 10km senior race. She comfortably dominated the last stages of the race ahead of her fellow police service officer and more experienced, Stacy Ndiwa. Joyce Jepkemoi of the Kenya Defence Forces finished third.
However, Chelangat and Kamworor will not be part of the Kenyan team to the African cross country championships as Kamworor will be getting ready to defend his world half marathon title while Chelangat already signed up for a road race in Europe that will coincide with the African championships.