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Kenya in historic senior women's clean sweep

By Joseph Kizza

Added 26th March 2017 06:51 PM

Kenya took the top six places in the Senior women's race in a show of total dominance at Kololo.

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PIC: The Kenyans came in full force at Kololo to rally their team on. (Credit: Miriam Namutebi)

EVENT:
2017 IAAF World Cross Country Championships

HOST: Kampala, UGANDA

VENUE: Kololo Independence Grounds

KAMPALA - One, two, and three medals! All for Kenya that is.

Such was Kenya's dominance in the Senior women's final race on Sunday. It was as solid as that.

In fact, the East Africa athletics powerhouse had more up their sleeves, taking the other three top spots: Fourth, fifth and sixth.

That's just how the Kenyans underlined their dominance in a race they had previously won five times in succession.

Irene Chepet Cheptai took gold, Alice Aprot Nawowuna bagged silver while Lilian Kasait Rengeruk ensured it was an all-Kenya podium finished with bronze.

In this race, as many as 104 athletes took to the starting point to do a five-lap race of the Kololo course.

By this time, the top three favorite nations had bagged gold. Kenya took the mixed relay, Ethiopia the U20 women and hosts Uganda, a first ever, in the U20 men.

Coming into this one, Kenya had won the previous five titles, with defending champion Agnes Tirop also taking part.

The lead pack was quite huge, with about 25 or so athletes breathing behind each other's necks. Lornah Kiplagat, who won the senior women's race a decade ago on home soil (Mombasa), also featured today.

Faith Kipyegon, an Olympic champion, was also in contention.

The lead pack had narrowed considerably towards the conclusion of the eight-kilometre run, with an Ethiopian sticking with the group in front.

All but two of the entire Kenyan team were in the lead.

Defending champion Tirop found herself left behind as the end neared. Kipyegon also lagged and when the bell was struck, three runners were going for gold (Nawawuna, Cheptai and Rengeruk).

Behind in fourth, Kipyegon allowed Jepkemoi to race past her while title-holder Tirop struggled two places further behind.

Cheptai peeled away further from fellow Kenyan Rengeruk before going for gold.

 

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