Home Sports Lokir exorcises ghosts of Ruiru with national cross country title

Lokir exorcises ghosts of Ruiru with national cross country title

by kenya-tribune
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NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 21 – Newly-crowned national cross country champion Charles Lokir says his win at the Kenya Prisons Training College in Ruiru was the perfect way to overcome the disappointment of missing out on the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, Australia.

Lokir finished ninth in the senior men’s race during the national trials in December at the same venue.

However, the 22-year-old was all smiles on Saturday after he clocked 0:29:16 in first place, ahead of Isaac Kibet (0:29:16) and Dennis Kipng’etich (0:29:23) in second and third respectively.

“Last time I was here, I finished ninth in the national trials and I felt so disappointed. I had really wanted to make the team for the World Cross Country. It was only right that I redeemed myself at the same place I suffered a heartbreak and I am so excited,” Lokir said.

The win has been a long time coming for Lokir whose last appearance at the national cross country championships yielded a 42nd place finish in 2021.

Following the recent spate of disappointments, Lokir said he undertook deep soul-searching, along with his management in an effort to get back his career on track.

“I was there (national cross country) in 2019 and qualified and managed to make the team for the world championships in Denmark. In 2021, I finished 42nd and from then on, we had to sit down and look at what we were doing wrong, rectify them and move forward,” Lokir said.

Charles Lokir (5523) in the lead during the National Cross Country Championships at Kenya Prisons Training College. PHOTO/ERICK BARASA

With a crowded in-tray for athletics in 2023, Lokir is hoping to get in on the action and has his eyes trained towards the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

“We will be going back to the drawing board to continue with the preparations and hopefully, qualify for the World Championships. I will be specializing in the 10,000m and I am hopeful that competing in the cross country will come in handy for the track and field season,” Lokir, who trains in Iten, said.

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Speaking at the same time, second-placed Kibet said he is content with the result, adding that he had woken up on Saturday with a podium place in mind.

“It was a tough race…as you can see, it went down to the wire. He (Lokir) had a strong kick and I couldn’t exactly catch up with him. Nonetheless, I am satisfied with second place because I had set myself a minimum target of clinching a podium place,” he said.

Results

Senior men’s 10km

  1. Charles Lokir – 0:29:16
  2. Isaac Kibet – 0:29:16
  3. Dennis Kipngetich – 0:29:23

Senior women’s 10km

  1. Ruth Chepngetich – 0:32:56
  2. Sheila Chepkirui – 0:32:58
  3. Zenah Jemutai – 0:33:06

Men’s Under 20 8km

  1. Samuel Kibathi – 0:23:10
  2. Simeon Maiywa – 0:23:23
  3. Shadrack Rono – 0:23:30

Women’s Under 20 6km

  1. Mercy Sang – 0:19:44
  2. Mirriam Chepkirui – 0:19:55
  3. Mirriam Chemutai – 0:20:03

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