Stanley Waithaka leading Chembolei and Kimeli in the senior men’s race, photo by Justin Lagat
This is Justin Lagat’s story on the Memorial Agnes Tirop Cross Country Meeting. It happened on Saturday, February 12, 2022.
Joyce Chepkemoi and Samuel Chebolei confirmed that indeed their national cross country titles did not come by chance, but through hard work, as they repeated their wins on the same course at the Memorial Agnes Tirop Cross Country World Tour Gold event on 12th February at the Lobo village in Eldoret.
Chepkemoi won the senior women’s race with a bigger margin against Margaret Chelimo who happened to have finished behind her at the national championships as well. She had made a surge with about four kilometers remaining and continued to do a solo run at the front in the last lap till she crossed the finish line in a time of 34:02. Chelimo came second in 34:09 while Nespine Jepleting was a distant third in 34:22.
Just like in the senior women’s race, Chebolei as well repeated what he did here last month on the same course in the senior men’s 10km race. The last lap was an exciting chase on him by Nicholas Kimeli who could not match his strength as he went ahead to emerge victorious in 29:46. Kimeli came in second at 30:00, while Michael Kibet completed the podium in 30:10.
There was some disappointment for Pamela Kosgei who had won both the Kenyan national championships and the Nike Discovery Kenya cross country events in the junior women’s U18 5km race. Despite being in the lead at the early stages of the race, she would eventually finish here in third place after being passed by Joyline Jepkemoi who won it in 18:05, and Jepkoech Maurine who finished second in 18:14.
Ismael Kurui made a move as they approached the last 2km in the 6K U18 junior men’s race and broke away from his two companions at the leading pack. He managed to hold off Vincent Maiyo in the last 200m as the latter was rapidly closing in on him finishing just one second ahead as he crossed the finish line in 18:15. Maiyo followed in 18:16 as Charles Rotich came for the third position in 18:21.
Purity Chepkirui won the junior women’s U20 in 20:49 bettering her second-place position at the Kenyan national cross country championships. Lucy Nduta finished second in 21:09 while Faith Cherotich finished third in 21:18.
The U20 junior men’s 8km race was won by Shadrack Chirchir in 23:55. It was a competitive race that saw the race favorite, Benson Kiplangat dropped out with one and half laps to go. Gideon Rono came second in 24:02 with Dennis Kipkirui completing the podium in 24:10.