Kenyan distance runner Alex Kibet (AFP / Getty Images) © Copyright
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Kibet and Dida battle harsh conditions to win in Okpekpe

Kenya’s Alex Kibet battled strong winds and heavy rain at the Okpekpe 10km Road Race to win the IAAF Silver Label event on Saturday (12) while Ethiopia’s Dera Dida was a similarly comfortable winner of the women’s race.

The former steeplechase specialist, who earlier this year clocked a half-marathon PB of 59:06, led a Kenyan sweep of the podium positions in the men’s race, winning in 29:46.

Simon Cheprot, the winner in Okpekpe in 2016, finished a distant second in 30:29 while Timothy Rono was third in 30:39.

“The course wasn’t easy, especially at the end,” said Kibet. “The start was okay but it was hilly at the end. I hope to improve on my winning time next year. The rain made the times slower.”

African 5000m bronze medallist Dera Dida was a class apart in the women’s 10km. The Ethiopian 10,000m champion, who earlier this year clocked 2:21:45 on her marathon debut, won in 33:01.

Kenya’s 2015 world U18 steeplechase silver medallist Sandrafelis Chebet Tuei was second in 33:33, one minute and 36 seconds shy of the PB she set earlier this year, which is an indication of how much of an impact the conditions had on the performances this year.

Fellow Kenyan Diana Kipyokei Chemtai was third in 34:24.