26 JAN 2003 General News Five

Kipketer takes cross country win over Tergat

Sammy Kipketer wins 10,000 metres in Brussels (Getty Images Allsport)Sammy Kipketer wins 10,000 metres in Brussels (Getty Images Allsport) © Copyright

Nairobi, Kenyatime World Cross Country Champion Paul Tergat was beaten into third position over a 12km cross country course by Commonwealth Games 5000m champion Sammy Kipketer at the Kenyan Armed Forces Championships, yesterday - Saturday, 25 January 2003.

However, Tergat quickly dispelled the significance of the defeat, confirming that he was only representing his Moi Air Base unit in the Armed Forces event, as part of his preparation for next April’s London Marathon.

Kipketer, whose 10km World best for the road distance was beaten last month by Ethiopia’s Olympic 10,000m champion Haile Gebreselassie, won the senior men's 12-km race in 37:44, ahead of Abraham Cherono the Commonwealth 3000m Steeplechase bronze medallist, who was timed at 37:58. Tergat crossed the line in 38:02.

Kipketer and Cherono broke away from the leading pack after two laps and ran together until the final straight, when Kipketer sprinted to victory.

"I am just training for the London Marathon and I think finishing third is great. The field was strong and I think Kenyans will this year recapture the individual (World Cross Country) title in the 12-km race," commented Tergat, who remains a sergeant in the Kenyan Air Force. Kenyan athletes have not won the individual 12-km title since 1999, when Tergat last won that crown.

Sammy Kipketer, who took the silver medal in the senior men's World Cross Country short course race in 2000 in Villamoura, and has since been fourth in the last two years, ran the longer race for the first time at this Armed Forces event, but did not confirm whether he will also run it at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland, in March.

"I wanted to test my endurance and I can say it was worth it. Cherono was very strong and I only knew I was winning in the last lap," confirmed Kipketer.

Olympics 1500m champion Noah Ngeny finished second in the 4-km race, won by the unknown Richard Geemi in 12:34. Ngeny, who said he was only running for training, was timed at 12:41.

Ann Wamboi won the women's 4-km race in 15:01, beating African 3000m Steeplechase record holder Irene Lemika into second place (15:08). Isabella Ochichi won the women's 8-km race in 29:16. Jane Wanjiku was second in 29:29 and Leah Malot third in 29:42.

Omulo Okoth for the IAAF

Leading results
 
12-km Senior Men
1 Sammy Kipketer 37:44
2 Abraham Cherono 37:58
3 Paul Tergat 38:02
4 Patrick Ivuti 38:10
5 John Korir 38:12
6 Tom Nyariki 38:34
7 Benjamin Limo 38:42
8 David Chepterit 38:44
 
4-km Senior Men
1 Richard Geemi 12:34
2 Noah Ngeny 12:41
3 Kiplimo Muneria 12:46
4 James Koskei 12:49
5 Joseph Mutai 12:50
 
4-km Senior Women
1 Ann Wamboi 15:01
2 Irene Lemika 15:08
3 Josephine Wanjiku 15:12
4 Grace Njoki 15:16
5 Sally Kimaiyo 15:21
 
8-km Senior Women
1 Isabella Ochichi 29:16
2 Jane Wanjiku 29:29
3 Leah Malot 29:42
4 Jane Omoro 29:48
5 Beatrice Omwanza 30:00
6 Helen Kimaiyo 30:27