Reigning World cross country champion Senior Sergeant (Ssgt) Hellen Obiri led from gun to tape to bag the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) 10km women’s cross country championship title held at the Moi Air Base, Nairobi.
Ssgt. Obiri outpaced Spte. Chepkemoi and Cpl. Chepkurui in the second last lap to cross the line first in 32:49:50 Minutes. Spte. Chepkemoi came in second with a time of 33:12:31 while Cpl Chepkurui completed the race with a time of 33:24:03 minutes.
The thrilling 10km Men’s race saw several athletes neck to neck in all the laps, with the final results decided by couple of metres. Gunner Erick Kiptanui from Embakasi overcome strong opposition to emerge victorious ahead of Corporal Collins Koros of Kahawa and Mtongwe’s Vedic Cheruiyot. Gnr. Kiptanui made it in a time of 29: 20: 55 minutes, while Cpl. Koros clocked 29:21:45 with Spte. Cheruiyot completing with 29: 23:70 Minutes.
In the 4 by 2 (2 kilometres) mixed relay, Isiolo team, held on from the first lap to emerge winners, they were closely followed by Thika and Moi Air Base(MAB) in second and third places respectively. The first team overall crown was taken by Moi Air Base (MAB) followed by Kahawa and Lanet took third position.
In his speech, Defence Cabinet Secretary Hon. Eugene Wamalwa, congratulated the KDF Athletics for continuing to perform well and earning the country pride and glory. He commended the KDF leadership for initiating the construction of important sporting facilities. He cited the Ulinzi complex facility in Langata, saying that upon its completion it will not only serve KDF but also will offer the national sports body a alternative venue to host international events.
“The Ministry of Defence recognizes the need for having a comprehensive sports development programs in many disciplines while evoking the values of mass sporting as an integral part of physical fitness”, said the CS.
The Chief of Defence Forces General Robert Kibochi congratulated the winning teams and encouraged the rest not to give up but train harder for future competitions. He assured them of his continued support in ensuring all talents are fully nurtured. He cited the ongoing construction of several sports centres in Ngong and Nyahururu as the morale boosters to the KDF sports men and women.
KDF Sports Control Board Chair and Assistant Chief of Defence Forces Personnel and Logistics Major General Alphaxard Kiugu, expressed deep appreciations to the Defence Forces leadership. He further said that the sports control board will continue to support sporting activities, particularly in training coaches, officials and giving sporting discipline necessary exposure and specialized training.
The competition brought together over 190 athletes from 13 teams namely Lanet, Nanyuki,Marsabit, Gilgil, Isiolo, Embakasi, Thika, Kahawa, Nairobi, Moi Air Base, Laikipia Air Base and Mtongwe. The event was used by the Kenya Defence Forces to select a team that will take part in the National cross country event slated for 22nd February 2022 at Kapseret, Uasin Gishu county.
In attendance were the Vice Chief of Defence Forces Lieutenant General Francis Ogolla, NMS Director Lieutenant General Mohamed Badi, Commander Kenya Army Lieutenant General Walter Koipaton, Commander Kenya Air Force Major General John Omende , Serving and Retired Generals, Senior Officers, Cooperative bank Officials, Officials from KDF Athletics, Athletics Kenya officials among other invited guests.