Mercy Cherono winning the 6km junior women’s race in Kericho, Kenya (Omulo Okoth) © Copyright
General News Kericho, Kenya

Cherono takes second victory - AK Cross Country, 2nd Meeting

World Youth 3000m champion Mercy Cherono kept her Sh200,000 Athletics Kenya Cross Country Jackpot hopes alive when today (10) she won the 6km junior women's race at the second Athletics Kenya cross country meeting of the 2007/08 season in Kericho, some 350km west of the capital. Cherono also won the opening leg last weekend in Nairobi.

In a race run in calm weather conditions in the picturesque undulating Green Stadium which is surrounded by tea plantations, Cherono, 16, won in 20:00, as Jackline Chebichi, her training partner at Kiptenden Club, followed in 20:10.

In the senior women's 8km race,  Alice Kimetto Chelangat, 11th in the 2004 Athens Olympics marathon, who was running before her home crowd stole the thunder with a fantastic sprint finish.

Chelangat, the winner of San Diego Marathon in 2006 and the first edition of Standard Chartered Nairobi International Marathon in 2004, won in 27:00, beating Anna Wanjiru into second 27:19, and Ruth Bosibori, the All African Games 3000m Steeplechase champion and reigning World junior record holder into third place in 27:28.

Bosibori, fourth in Osaka World Champs Steeplechase in August pressed hard, occasionally breathing down the neck of Chelangat’s shoulders, but the latter wouldn't let the lead go.

Edwin Soi, the winner of the World Athletics Final 3000m and 5000m this summer, won the men's 12km race easily, sprinting to victory in 34:44 ahead of Robert Sigei (35:00) and Wilson Kiprop (35:06), with Paul Kipsiele Koech, Olympic Steeplechase bronze medallist, and winner of World Athletics Final, in 14th.

Soi, ninth in the long race in last March's World Cross in Mombasa and eighth at the short race in Fukuoka last year, broke away half-way through the race and eased away to victory as the followers struggled for second place.

"I want to win a (WXC) medal in Edinburgh next year. That is what I am working on at the moment and I can't say how far I am away from the fitness that can make me win," said Soi.

An 'unknown' emerged here. Running barefoot, Kirui Cheruiyot, 19, won the junior men's race in 23:07.8. Cheruiyot has only run for two years since finishing secondary schooling at Kaptulu Secndary School in Bomet. He was at the first edition of the cross country season last week in Nairobi where he was 20th.
Omulo Okoth (The Standard) for IAAF

Leading results:
Junior men 8km race:
1. Kirui Cheruiyot 23:08
2. Josephat Bett 23:09
3. Paul Kemboi 23:10
4. Leonard Oloitiptip 23:10
5. Philip Kiprono 23:18
6. Leonard Langat 23:23
7. Ronald Kipchumba 23:29
Senior men 12km race:
1. Edwin Soi 34:44
2. Robert Sigei 35:00
3. Wilson Kiprop 35:06
4. Edwin Kipkorir 35:20
5. Festus Langat 35:22
6. David Ngetich 35:24
7. Charles Sigei 35:26
Junior women 6km race:
1. Mercy Cherono 20:00
2. Jackline Chebii 20:10
3. Nelly Chebet 20:13
4. Irine Chepngetich 20:39
5. Elizabeth Mweni 20:41
6. Joyline Chelangat 21:01
7. Sammary Cherotich 21:02
Senior women 8km race:
1. Alice Kimetto Chelangat 27:00
2. Anna Wanjiru 27:19
3. Ruth Bosibori 27:28
4. Alice Munyutu 27:46
5. Agnes Chebet 28:07
6. Tabitha Chelangat 28:12
7. Hellen Cherono 28:38