Kirui, Obiri win Kenyan cross country titles

They have now booked their places in the national team for next month’s IAAF World championships in Denmark.
Kenya’s Hellen Obiri reacts after winning the Women’s 5000 meters of the IAAF Diamond League athletics meeting Weltklasse on August 30, 2018 in Zurich. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

Amos Kirui and Helen Obiri cruised to easy victories to win the Kenyan cross country titles to book their places in the national team for next month’s IAAF World championships in Aarhus, Denmark.

Under clear skies at the Eldoret Sports Club, the 21-year-old Kirui obliterated a strong field that included reigning world champion Geoffrey Kamworor to win in the race.

“It came as a surprise to me. I was not expecting to win,” said the reigning World U-20 3,000m steeplechase champion.

“I was prepared to make the team for the world championships, but winning has been an added bonus.”

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Litte-known Evans Keitany took second place while Rodgers Kwemoi, the 2018 Commonwealth 10,000m bronze medallist was third.

Kamworor trailed home fifth but was included in the 28-member team for the world championships.

Obiri, the reigning 5,000m world champion and Olympic silver medallist ensured her first maiden appearance at the world cross country championships when she dominated the women’s race to win by a full 200 metres ahead of Beatrice Mutai and Beatrice Chepkoech, the world 3000m steeplechase record holder.

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