By JONATHAN KOMEN

World cross country champion Geoffrey Kamworor and Africa cross country bronze medalist Alice Aprot took top spots at the IAAF Permit Meeting/National cross country 10km trials at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi yesterday.

But Kamworor, who won the 10,000m silver medal at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China, last August, said he was not keen on the fourth Africa cross country championships in Younde, Cameroon, on March 12 – although Athletics Kenya named him in the team.

He said he hopes to defend his title at the 21st IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff, Britain, on March 25. “The national trials were important to me.

I will not compete at the Africa cross country, but will instead defend my world half marathon title next month,” he said. “I was certain of victory. I hope to challenge Mo Farah at the Olympics in 10,000m in Brazil. I have learned the mistakes I made in Beijing. It takes hard work and determination to beat him,” he said.

World cross country silver medalist Bedan Karoki, who finished behind Kamworor yesterday, and Africa cross country champion Leonard Barsoton (third) also said they would not take part in the continental cross country championship.

Karoki, the world cross country silver medalist, said: “I have no plans for Africa cross country championships. I will compete in Puerto Rico World Best in two weeks’ time. This is part of my build-up for the Olympics 10,000m.”

Barsoton, a Japan based runner, said he would not travel to Cameroon. “I am not ready for Africa cross country to defend my title. I have my reasons which I won’t disclose. I will return to Japan and come back for 10,000m Olympic trials,” he said.

As expected, the clash between Kamworor and Karoki offered a sight to behold. The two went neck and neck to the final 40m when Kamworor sprinted to victory in 28:19.6 ahead of Karoki (28:24.3), Barsoton (28:26.8) and Charles Yosei (28:28.8). Philip Lang’at (28:29.1) and James Rungari (28:36.0) followed.

Africa cross country bronze medalist and African 10,000m champion Alice Aprot won 10km in 31:13.2 after beating Beatrice Mutai (33:28.2). Former World Youth 1,500m champion Sheila Chepkirui (32:34.0), former world junior champion Daisy Chepkemei (32:41.6) and Africa cross country silver medalist Janeth Kisa (32:48.4) returned third, fourth and fifth as world 3,000m SC champion Hyvin Kiyeng (32:51.00, Pauline Korikwang (32:51.6) and Africa cross country bronze medalist Nancy Nziza (32:56.8) followed.

Courtesy of Standard Digital News

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