Sirikwa Classic World Cross Country Tour: Kipyegon, Lokir rule the roost
Olympic and world 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon made history at the second edition of Sirikwa Classic World Cross Country Tour in Lobo Village, Eldoret, over the weekend.
Charles Lokir Katul, who was recently crowned National Cross-Country champion, claimed the men's title.
Two-time world 1500m champion Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon made a historic Cross-Country comeback, claiming her first senior win at the Sirikwa Classic World Cross Country title in Eldoret by crossing the finish line in 33:50.
Kipyegon, a two-time Olympic 1500m gold medalist, took on two man-made hills, a hay heap, and a steeplechase barrier at the Lobo Village to claim the title.
Athletes also paved strong winds and dust in the second edition of the World Cross Tour. The first edition was known as the Memorial Agnes Tirop World Cross Tour to honour her.
Kipyegon, a former World Junior Cross Country champion, outpaced Commonwealth 3000m steeplechase champion Jackline Jepkoech in the second lap and established a comfortable lead that ensured her victory.
She finished in 33:50, two minutes ahead of Jepkoech, who finished in 34:52, and Zeno Yego, who finished third in 35:08.
"I was not sure at first because I had not run 10km in cross country since 2017 in Kampala. I did not expect a good performance and I was lucky to win. I can say, it is my first major win this year and also my first in 10km," Kipyegon added.
Kipyegon said that the win served as a morale booster for upcoming races such as the World Championships, and would also build endurance.
"This means a lot in my career. It has given me hope that it could be possible to even run a marathon in the future. For upcoming races such as the World Championships, the cross-country tour is a boost to my endurance and speed," Kipyegon said.
Iten-based Lokir crossed the finish line first in 30:14, seeing off second-placed Josphat Kiprotich (30:19) and third-placed Dennis Kipngetich who timed 30:21.
The event was graced by top elites including 800m World record holder David Rudisha, 3000m steeplechase champion Milcah chemos, world javelin Julius Yego, 800m world champion Janeth Jepkosgei and multiple 3000m steeplechase Ezekiel Kemboi.
Senior men and women’s collated results
Men's 10km senior race:
Charles Lokir 30:14
Josphat Kiprotich 30:19
Dennis Kipongetich 30:21
Kelvin Kibiwott 30:29
Geoffrey Koech 30:34
Shadrack Kipchirchir 30:37
Women's 10km senior race:
Faith Kipyegon 33:50
Jackline Jepkoech 34:52
Zenah Jemutai 35:08
Roselida Jepketer 35:13
Jackline Chepkoech 35:16
Gladys Chesir 35:17