SECTIONS

Kenyans shift focus after win: Focus shifts to next weekend’s World Half and Club Games in Australia next month

World Junior steeplechase champion Celiphine Chepteek Chepsol leads Hellen Obiri and Sheila Chepkirui in their training sessaion at Moi International Sport Centre, Kasarani on July 25, 2017 ahead of IAAF London World Championships. [Dennis Okeyo, Standard]

It's yet another great outing for Kenyan athletes in Africa cross country championships.

After an absolute stunning performance by Kenyans as they stamped their authority in the Africa cross country meeting on Saturday in Chlef, Algeria, focus now shifts to World Half Marathon and Commonwealth Games.

The grueling race saw Kenya win six individual gold medals, silver medal in mixed relays and the overall team trophy, where youngsters Alfred Barkach, Celiphine Chepsol maintained the country's tradition in the senior 10km races.

The team, which was led by head coach John Kimetto, produced a similar show just as they did in the previous edition, two years ago in in Yaoundé, Cameroon, where Kenya swept the podium in senior and junior women races.

“We are grateful with our performance. We had good planning and successful preparations and we were sure of good results,” said Kimetto.

Meanwhile, with the Africa cross country title safely tucked in the bag, Kenya eyes impressive results in the IAAF World Half Marathon in Velencia on Saturday, with two-time World Half marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor and World half marathon record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei leading the assault.

Last week, Bedan Karoki announced his withdrawal from the team due to a hamstring injury and was replaced by Alex Oloitiptip. Other members in the men’s team include 2017 Family Bank Half Marathon winner Jorum Okombo, who has a personal best of 58:48 in the distance and World Cross Country silver medallist Leonard Barsaton.

Barselius Kipyego, winner of the 2017 Ustinad Labem Half Marathon, is also in the mix.

Fancy Chemutai, who finished second behind Jepkosgei in Valencia, Istanbul Half Marathon champion Ruth Chepng’etich and Pauline Kaveke make the women’s team.

At the same time, National Olympic Committee of Kenya has began distributing national kit to various teams ahead of the Commonwealth Games scheduled for next month in Gold Coast, Australia.

While handing over the gear to the athletics squad, NOC-K President, Paul Tergat, said they have received the consignment from Nike and have began the distribution process.

"This kit belongs to the athletes and our role is to ensure it reaches them wherever they are. Gone are the days when we used to have squabbles over the kit."

Tergat called on the athletes to work hard and ensure they emerge victorious.