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Kenyan athletes dominate key races to win overall title at Africa Cross Country Championships

Tuesday, February 27th, 2024 06:15 | By
Kenya athletes are feted after winning the overall title at the Africa Cross Country in Tunisia on Sunday.
Kenya athletes are feted after winning the overall title at the Africa Cross Country in Tunisia on Sunday. PHOTO/POOL

Vincent Langat led a 1-2 Kenyan finish as athletes from the East African nation ruled the show at the 2024 African Cross-Country Championships held in Hammamet, Tunisia on Sunday.

In total, Kenya bagged four gold, three silver, and two bronze medals at the sixth edition of the continental championships except for the women’s under-20 race where the country’s best performer was Judy Chepkoech, who clocked 21:04 to finish sixth.

In the senior men’s 10km race, it was Langat, who led the way, producing a 1-2 podium finish. Langat clocked 28:32, ahead of fellow countryman Naibei Kiplimo, who finished second in (28:41) while Ethiopian Gemechu Dida (28:58) came third. Uganda’s Abel Chebet came in fourth with a time of 29:02; Kenya’s Vincent Kimaiyo was fifth at 29:05 while Ethiopia’s Adisu Negash came in sixth with a time of 29:13.

In the women’s senior race, Kenya dominated as Cintia Chepngeno timed 32:32 to scoop gold as another Kenyan, Virginia Nyambura came in second in a time of 32:34, and Ethiopian Degitu Azimeraw clocked 33:04 to clinch bronze. Kenya’s dominance was more prominent in the men’s Under-20 where Gideon Kipngetich led a clean podium sweep, timing 23:17 to clinch gold, ahead of Joash Kiprotich Ruto (23:18) and Titus Kiprotich (23:19) in second and third respectively.

Meanwhile, in the U20 women’s 6km category, Ethiopia bagged the top three positions with Diriba Robe Dida clinching the title in 20.59. Dida was closely followed by Ademas Yenenesh and Dagnaw Tinesbeb who clocked 21:00.18 and 21:00.58 respectively. 

The Kenyan duo of Judy Chepkoech (21:03.68) and Marion Jepngetich (21:05.03) settled for sixth and seventh positions in this category. Kenya also won the mixed relay gold when Edwin Kiprono anchored Winfred Nzisa, Victor Mutwi, and Miriam Cherop for the title. Ethiopians Urgesa Teddese, Burguda Aduna, Adehena Kasaye, and Danbobbi Dube settled for silver while Morocco bagged the bronze medal through Rizqy Hafid, Igram Ouaziz, Tindoufi Mohamed, and Farouk Katwa.

A total of 12 nations took part in the sixth edition of the event which was staged at the Citrus Golf Club Hammamet. These countries include Morocco, Angola, Algeria, Libya, Kenya, Ethiopia, Liberia, Seychelles, Congo, Uganda, Cape Verde and Tunisia.

This was the first time the championship was successfully held since the 2018 edition that was hosted by Algeria. The 2020 edition which was supposed to be staged in Togo was delayed to 2021 due to the pandemic before being cancelled. Team Kenya will now return home and turn their focus to the World Cross Country Championships to be held in Belgrade, Serbia at the end of March.

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