ELDORET, Kenya, Feb 4 – After he overcame hot and windy conditions in Eldoret to clinch the boys’ Under-18 6km race at the Sirikwa Cross Country Tour, Nakuru’s Amos Kiprotich says his next dream is a medal haul at the Africa Under 18 and Under 20 Athletics Championships in Lusaka, Zambia.
The youngster clocked 0:18:43 to clinch top place as Andrew Akori (0:18:44) and Chebet Kipruto (0:18:52) came second and third respectively.
“From here, I want to go back to training and work hard towards the Africa junior championships. It is my dream to shine at these championships. My specialty is the 3000m and the 5000m but I can tackle the 1500m as well…it is no problem,” Kiprotich said.
Despite the win, he admitted that he had had little time for preparations and hence, was not at peak fitness for the World Cross Country Tour Gold event.
“It was a tough race, made all the more difficult by the hot temperatures. It was also tough considering I hadn’t worked on all the aspects I had intended to brush up on ahead of this race. Nonetheless, I tried my best in training and I am very happy for the win,” Kiprotich, who finished second in junior men’s race at last weekend’s Discovery Kenya Cross Country, said.
In the under-18 girls’ 5km race, Yvonne Chepchirchir ran away with top honours when she clocked 0:19:06 in first place.
Faith Chepchumba and Miriam Chemutai timed 0:19:11 and 0:19:38 to finish second and third respectively in a closely-contested race.
Chepchirchir, who finished fourth in the juniors’ race at the National Cross Country Championships in Ruiru, said her speed and kick were key to her win.
“They (speed and kick) were some of the aspects I went back to work on after the national championships. Regardless, it was a tough race because all the other athletes are tough opponents,” she said.
The Sirikwa Classic is the second edition of this World Cross Country Tour Gold event after the inaugural Agnes Tirop Memorial Cross Country at Lobo Village – the same venue for this year’s event.