Chebures, Chelangat toast to Cross-Country glory

Over the moon. Chebures (left)and Chelangat took the men’s and women’s national senior Cross-Country titles in Tororo on Saturday. PHOTO/ISMAIL KEZAALA

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  • Meanwhile, Kipsiro’s nephew Dismas Yeko had earlier retained the junior men’s 8km title in 23:16 minutes. “I did not know anything about athletics but Kipsiro introduced me to it,” he said.

Ali Chebures is not a household name in local athletics. He comes from the same a clan – Kapchebai – of the Sabiny tribe with Moses Kipsiro.

Chebures actually lives in the same homestead with three-time Commonwealth gold medallist Kipsiro. And on Saturday, he emulated his mentor Kipsiro by stunning all to win the senior men’s 10km race at the National Cross-country Championships at Tororo.

“It was not easy but I managed,” said the 29-year-old, who crossed the tape in a time of 29 minutes and 30 seconds, ahead of Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) teammate Geofrey Kusuro and KCCA’s Joel Ayeko.

“I haven’t yet spoken to Kipsiro but I know is he is happy for me,” Chebures said of the former star who, bar 2012, won all titles between 2008 and 2014.

“He speaks to us, and tells us what to do, sometimes we train with him,” he added. 

He took the lead early after 2km and led the big pack through 4km.

“Before coming here, Kipsiro told me to be strong. I didn’t expect to win because the competitors were all strong,” added Chebures, who finished 12th in 2020.

Meanwhile, Kipsiro’s nephew Dismas Yeko had earlier retained the junior men’s 8km title in 23:16 minutes. “I did not know anything about athletics but Kipsiro introduced me to it,” he said.

However, it is Mercyline Chelangat who won the toughest race of the day, beating her friends and training partners to the senior women’s 10km title. 

“I endured,” stated Mercyline after posting 33:31. “It was not so hot. I had the speed,” the 2018 Commonwealth 10000m bronze medallist added.

Chemutai control

Olympic steeplechase champion Peruth Chemutai controlled the tempo of the small field up the 4km mark, with Chelangat, Prisca Chesang, Sarah Chelangat, Janat Chemusto and Racheal Zena Chebet all following.

That group of six peeled away after 6km and heading into the final lap of the 2km-looped course, Chemusto had fallen off. 

With 500m left, Sarah banked on the wave of the cheering crowd to charge but it appeared she had kicked too early.

The 2018 Youth Olympic 3000m champion lost her lead to the more experienced Mercyline with 50m left. 

“The race was okay,” the soft-spoken Sarah noted upon clocking 33:32.
Chemutai finished third in a time of 33:42. 

“I still felt pain my knee towards the finish,” she said. The top six runners per category will be selected by Uganda Athletics Federation to compete at the Africa Cross-country Championships in Maputo, Mozambique next month.

National Cross-Country

Junior women (6KM)
1.Scarlet Chebet    Police    20:40
2.Lotia Chepkwemoi    UWA    20:50
3.Rispa Cherop    Prisons    20:50
Junior men (8KM)
1.Dismas Yeko     Ndejje    23:16
2.Martin Kiprotich    Police    23:24
3.Rodgers Kibet     KCCA    23:36

Record books...Cast of men’s past winners

2022:     Ali Chebures
2021:     Hosea Kiplangat
2020:     Hosea Kiplangat
2019:     Jacob Kiplimo
2018:     Joshua Cheptegei
2017:     Joshua Cheptegei
2016:     Phillip Kipyeko
2015:     Phillip Kipyeko
2014:     Moses Kipsiro
2013:     Moses Kipsiro
2012:     Thomas Ayeko
2011:     Moses Kipsiro
2010:     Moses Kipsiro
2009:     Moses Kipsiro
2008:     Moses Kipsiro

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