Police’s Leonard Kiplimo Barsoton ensured a clean 1-2-3 finish for the Kenya National Forces as they won the 2017 Senior Men’s National Cross Country Championships at Nairobi’s Uhuru Gardens.
Barsoton, the 2014 Africa Cross Country champion, held off competition from teammates Bedan Karoki and deposed champion Geoffrey Kamworor to stop the men’s 10km timer at 28:56.3.
Karoki came second in 29:02.3 as Kamworor completed the Police hat-trick in 29:03.4.
Barsoton, who finished 5th at the 2015 World Cross Country championship told Citizen Digital that it was a victory he had patiently worked and waited for;
To put up a performance like this and finish top is amazing. I have been patient enough to wait for this chance since 2013 so I feel very happy and thank God for the win.
The Police extended their dominance to the women’s 8km senior race as Irene Cheptai delivered a confounding display to upset defending champion Alice Aprot from Kenya Prisons.
In the captivating contest, Cheptai ran a race-leading 31:47.5 to clinch the title ahead of Lilian Kasait (31:51.9) and South Rift’s 2015 National champion Faith Chepng’etich (32:12.9).
Aprot, the 2014 African Cross champion, relinquished her crown to settle for a fourth-place finish in 32:18.8 as reigning world champions Agnes Tirop completed the top five list in 32:47.4.
In winning the senior men’s race, Japan-based Barsoton ended a four-year wait with a come-from-behind victory after trailing third in the final lap behind Kamworor – the reigning world cross champion – and Karoki.
Additional report by Charity Wanja (Kenya Citizen, DBarsigital)