By David Karanja
Africa 10,000m meters silver medalist Leonard Barsoton and Irene Cheptai braved off stiff opposition to emerge victorious in the national cross country championship held Saturday at the Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi.
Barsoton led a 1-2-3 finish for favorites Kenya Police team that has dominated the event for the past few years.
Newly crowned Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon champion Bedan Karoki finished second while reigning World half marathon and cross country champion Geoffrey Kamworor settled for third position.
Irene Cheptai proved her prowess in the women’s race relegating Lilian Kasait and Olympic 1500m champion Faith Chepngetich to second and third positions respectively.
“It is my first time to win the Kenyan cross country title. I am also targeting a podium place in Kampala,” said Cheptai.
The championship was used to select ‘Team Kenya’ for the World Cross Country Championship set to be held on 26th March in Kampala, Uganda.
In the last edition of the World Cross Country championship held in 2015 in Guiyang China, ‘Team Kenya’ finished second overall behind perennial rivals Ethiopia with a total of Nine medals, three Gold , five silver and one Bronze.