Japan-based Samuel Kibathi and Mercy Sang are the winners of men and women’s Under-20 National Lotto National Cross Country Championships.
Kibathi, who finished second last year in Eldoret, had his act together this time around to win the men’s 8 kilometre race in 23 minutes and 12.2 seconds at the Kenya Prisons Staff Training College, Ruiru, Kiambu on Saturday.
Kibathi took charge early sweeping the course to edge out Simeon Maiywa from North Rift to second place in 23:25.4.
Shadrack Rono from South Rift came third in 23:32.7 as Western’s Kibet Ndiwa settled fourth in 23:34.8.
Johana Erot from North Rift and Nyanza South’s Andrew Kiptoo clocked 23:40.4 and 23:49.4 for fifth and sixth places respectively.
They all sealed their places for the invitational Sirikwa World Cross Country Gold Tour due for February 4 at Lobo Village, Eldoret.
“It feels great to finally win though it wasn’t easy especially at the muddy section,” said Kibathi, who is a form three in student in Japan.
Kibathi said the event is part of his preparations for the Africa Athletics Under-20 Championships planned for April 19 to 23 this year in Lusaka, Zambia.
Sang clocked 19:43.8 to win women’s 6km race, beating South Rift’s duo of Miriam Chepkirui and Miriam Chemutai in 19:54.0 and 20:02.6 respectively.
They also sealed their places for the Lobo event formerly known as Memorial Agnes Tirop Cross Country Championships.