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Veterans excel

By | January 15th 2012


New York and Boston Marathon champion Geoffrey Mutai retained his Kenya Police Cross Country Championships title at the Ngong Race Course.

In the women race, former Commonwealth Games 10,000m champion Lucy Kabuu triumphed sending

Titus Mbishei and Moses Masai leading men’s 12km race. [PHOTOS: STAFFORD ONDEGO/STANDARD]

stern warning of her challengers at the National Championships on February 18 that it will not be business as usual.

Though it was his first competitive race since winning the New York Marathon race on November 6, Mutai proved to be in a class of his own as he crossed the tape in a time of 37:35.0, having opened a 200m gap away from his closest contender.

"The race was not easy. Winning two titles in a row in a Police championship is never an easy feat given the type of quality available. I am happy with the result because this was my first race since November 6, but I still have a long way to go because I am still nowhere near my best form," said Mutai Saturday.

Moses Masai, the 2009 world champion 10,000m bronze medallist finished second in a time of 38:03.3 with Titus Mbishei third in a time of 38:07.3. Josephat Bett, a former World Junior 10,000m champion came in fourth in a time of 38:36.0 while Levi Matebo of Nairobi was fifth in 38:40.6 beating sixth placed Paul Langat (38:41.5).

The first six athletes across the line earned automatic ticket to police’s team for the national championships next month. The race was expected to be action packed, due to the high number of elite athletes at the starting line and it did not disappoint. Commonwealth 3, 000m steeplechase champion Richard Matelong was among the casualties of the race as he failed to finish the challenge, dropping out just after about four kilometres with a suspected injury.

Masai’s younger brother Dennis, the reigning World Junior 10, 000m champion finished eighth, while other seasoned athletes like Paul Kipsiele Koech, Isaac Songok and Lucas Rotich failed to live to their expectations on a sunny day at the race track.

In the women’s race, former Commonwealth Games 10, 000m gold medallist Lucy Kabuu stunned World Marathon champion Edna Kiplangat to win in a time of 28:22.2. Margaret Wangare, fourth at the 2010 World Cross Country Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland settled for the second spot in a time of 28:45.7 as Kiplagat finished third in 28: 59.1. Several top Kenya Police athletes missed the event.


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