Tag Archives: Africa Cross Country Championships

Aprot targets 10,000m rebound at Africa Athletics Championships

World Cross Country silver medalist Alice Aprot of Kenya wants to atone missing the Commonwealth Games with victory at the Africa Athletics Championships in Asaba, Nigeria in August.

Aprot, who won the 10,000m race during the Africa championships two years ago, but lack of form and poor planning have left her with no victory in major competitions in the last year and early this season.

“Injuries are part of the game to any athlete. I have suffered my share and hope to remain fit as the year progresses and win some medals,” Aprot said on Sunday.

Fatigue and loss of form forced Aprot out of the Kenya team to Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, but the 24-year-old is returning to her best and wants to explore every chance in the Diamond League to dominate and hopes her prospect will flow over to the Africa Athletics Championships.

“I took too much than what my body could withstand in the cross country season and I paid the ultimate price in missing out in the Kenya team. Now I have rested and regained momentum. The reconditioning has been great and have had enough time to recover fully. I want to race in selected Diamond League races and will be focused on winning the gold in Africa championships in the 10,000m race,” said Aprot from Eldoret.

The former African 10,000m champion will still have to curve her path through a battery of season runners all eyeing one of the three slots up for grabs in the Kenya team.

Challenges for Aprot will be the athletes that beat her to the ticket to the Commonwealth Games.

Top names Sandrafelis Chebet, Stacy Ndiwa and Beatrice Mutai denied Aprot the ticket to the Club Games, but failed to star in Gold Coast. Now Aprot is keen to show them who is the queen of long distance races.

“I want to define my season with gold from Africa championships,” she said. It is the biggest event this year and hopefully get selected to the IAAF Intercontinental Cup in Ostrava (Czech Republic).”

In March, Aprot failed to win the Africa Cross Country Championships in Algiers, Algeria.

Her problems magnified with a miss to the Commonwealth Games and now, with the continental track and field championships up next, she believes international championships will see her give best performance.


Chespol targets Commonwealth title

Fresh from bagging the Africa senior women’s cross country title, Celliphine Chespol has set her sights on winning gold in her 3,000m specialty at the Commonwealth Games next month.

Chespol, the world junior 3,000m steeplechase champion, was bullish about her prospects down under. “I have set my goal on winning the Commonwealth Games title. This was a good piece of preparations. I will rest for a couple of days before resuming training for the Games,” said Chespol.

Chespol spoke as the team received a rapturous reception at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport yesterday. She observed that the course at the African Cross Championships was muddy and tough but thanked the coaches for tipping her and her teammates correctly heading into the competition.

“The competition was very tough. I almost ruined my race when I thought I was in the last lap. I liked the course because it was designed for kind of cross country running,” said Chespol after her first victory at the senior ranks.

She observed that teamwork was crucial in ensuring that the team won the race. “We had planned the race well with Margaret Chelimo, Rosemary Njeri, Stacy Ndiwa, Perine NenKampi and Sandra Felis Chebet and our plans worked as we beat our competitors,” she added.

Chespol clocked 35:10 with Africa 5,000m champion Chelimo second in 35:13. Ethiopia’s Yeshi Kalayu was third in 35:26 while Ndiwa (35:27) and Chebet (35:47) finished fourth and sixth respectively as Kenya retained senior women’s title.

Alfred Barkach, winner of the men’s senior 10km event was also delighted to win the title in his first major outing for the country. “I am very delighted. Being my first ever international meeting for the country and to win and bring honour to this country is a great feeling,” noted Barkach

Barkach has set his sights on the Diamond League series which start in May by running the 10,000m. “I’m looking at running the Diamond League meetings and competing against the best in the world,” added Barkach. Head coach John Kimetto was satisfied with the team’s performance despite not winning the individual junior women’s race. “Our team did well but we need to start building our junior women’s team early if we are to match our rivals Ethiopia in the years to come,” said Kimetto.

Ronex Kipruto and Stanley Waithaka led a Kenyan 1-2 finish in the junior men’s 8km race after surging ahead of the pack early on.

Kipruto breasted the tape in 25:01 followed by Waithaka in 25:06 as Ethiopian Solomon Berihu came in third 25:08. Vincent Ng’etich, Edwin Bett, Edward Zakayo and Dominic Rotich were in sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth respectively to seal the team title for Kenya.

Ethiopian athletes Girmawit Gebru (20:40) and Tsige Selama (20:54) took the first and second positions in junior women’s 6km race as Kenya’s Hellen Ekalale (20:55) settled for third.

In the mixed relays category, Ethiopian athletes were too strong for the Kenyans after winning in 23:52 with Kenya coming in second in 24:15 ahead of Morocco, who timed 25:07.

source: the-star.co.ke