Chesang delights in 2022 form, teen Kiprotich surprised

Chesang crosses the line as a winner. PHOTO/DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE 

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While she enjoyed the challenge over the 2km-looped course, the triumph had not come easy. A group of about 15 ladies kept together after 4km with Chesang stuck in with 3000m steeplechase Olympic champion Peruth Chemutai.


Stella Chesang expects a better outing next year after a remarkable bounce back to shape from maternity this year. She capped a stellar wrap to this year by winning the 2022-2023 National Cross-country Championship title in Tororo on Saturday.

The 2018 Commonwealth 10000m champion utilized her card of experience and form book to beat a field of about 40 ladies to win the senior women’s 10km race in a time of 33 minutes and 56.1 seconds at Tororo Golf Course.

Happy mom Chesang

“The race was really good and it was enjoyable, even the course was good,” Chesang said after freshening up.

While she enjoyed the challenge over the 2km-looped course, the triumph had not come easy. A group of about 15 ladies kept together after 4km with Chesang stuck in with 3000m steeplechase Olympic champion Peruth Chemutai.

After 5km, a pair of runners from Police club began to peel away with Prisca Chesang Chemweno ahead of Stella. Behind them, Janat Chemusto looked to settle in third place as they approached 6km.

Chesang would eventually wade off the Chemweno threat 3km later but the latter settled for second place in 34:05.8 whereas Annet Chelangat from Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) came third in 34:13.0.

“My last cross-country (in Uganda) was in 2019 and to come back again and win, it was really good for me. And I thank God for that,” Chesange said. Before Tororo, Chesang on November 20 came third at the Seven Hills 15K Run in Nijmegen, Netherlands.

And in October, Chesang rewrote the 21km national record (NR) by posting 1:08:11 in third place at the Delhi Half Marathon in India. She also broke the 10km NR by winning the Cape Town 10K in South Africa in May.

Teenager Kiprotich’s day

In August, she narrowly missed the podium with a fourth place in the 10000m final at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, much better than 14th in the 25-lap final at the Oregon World Championships in the USA. 

"2022 has been a good year for me because I just came back from maternity leave. I don’t want to complain,” Chesang added.

Whereas she anticipates a full marathon debut next year, it is teenager Martin Kiprotich Magengo who took advantage of the absence of Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo to win the senior men’s 10km race.

Running amongst the seniors for the first time, the 19-year-old broke away before the halfway mark and maintained his lead before clocking a time of 29:34.1 ahead of Prisons’ Isaac Kibet (29:42.7) and Samuel Kibet (29:45.6) of Arua.

“It was not so okay because of the weather. It was a bit cool,” said Kiprotich, who took second place in the junior men’s 8km race at the national event held back in February. 

According to Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF), the best finishers from Tororo are the top priority for the team to go for the World Cross-country Championships in Bathurst, Australia come February 18.

World title holder Cheptegei missed because he is undergoing a recovery process while Kiplimo pulled out of Tororo unexpectedly.

It implies Kiprotich leads Uganda’s list, for now. “I am happy to be selected. I want God to help me to run like today in Australia,” he added. 

Bizarre extra lap

Meanwhile, confusion in the UAF technical team emerging from a correct bell ring for the final lap forced them to push the junior men’s runners for an extra lap, thereby running 10km instead of 8km.

The officials had been surprised by the short time displayed on their systems yet it had been the quick speed by the leading trio of Kenneth Kiprop, Dan Kibet and Feb Chelogoi. Officials rather focus on laps done, argued that it had been too fast to have 6km already complete.

In that moment, they disagreed with the bell call, asking runners to go for an extra 2km instead of heading to the tape, onlookers and athletes' coaches and managers wondering thereafter.

Video evidence, technology chips pegged to the runners and even times posted later showed they had done 10km instead of 8km. Some runners who knew and thought they were done at 8km burnt out and did not complete the extra lap.

“We are taking in a big group and they will all be considered. We have time to clean this up,” UAF’s general secretary Beatrice Ayikoru said about the junior men’s team selection for Bathurst in light of the matter.

Luckily, Kiprop from the Joshua Cheptegei Development Foundation (Jocdef) hang to keep the lead in the extra lap to win in 29:28.8 ahead of Police’s Silas Rotich (30:26.8) and Prisons’ Dan Kibet (30:38.7).

“Psychologically, I thought I was finishing,” Kiprop said when officials asked him to go the extra 2km lap. “With my speed, I was a bit demoralized. I thought someone would beat me (but) it’s good I have finished.”

Kiprop had recently won the India Women’s 5Km Race in Kampala and last month, Kiprop was 16th at the Great Ethiopia Run in Addis Ababa.

Rising Isella Chebet had meanwhile earlier led a Jocdef 1-2-3 in the junior women’s 6km race by posting 20:36.0 with Peace Hope Chemutai and Charity Cherop completing the sweep.

2022-2023 NATIONAL CROSS-COUNTRY CHAMPS

RESULTS

SENIOR WOMEN’S RACE (10KM)

1 Stella Chesang (Police)                    33:56.1 minutes

2 Prisca Chesang (Police)                    34:05.8

3 Annet Chelangat (UWA)                 34:13.0

SENIOR WOMEN’S RACE (10KM)

1 Martin Kiprotich (Police)                 29:34.1

2 Isaac Kibet (Prisons)                        29:42.7

3 Samuel Kibet (Arua)                        29:45.6

JUNIOR WOMEN’S RACE (6KM)

1 Isella Chebet (Jocdef)                      20:36.0

2 Peace Hope Chemutai (Jocdef)       20:36.2

3 Charity Cherop (Jocdef)                  20:40.6

JUNIOR MEN’S RACE (10KM*)

1 Kenneth Kiprop (Jocdef)                 29:28.8

2 Silas Rotich (Police)                        30:26.8

3 Dan Kibet (Prisons)                         30:38.7 

NATIONAL CROSS-COUNTRY CHAMPS

CAST OF MALE WINNERS

2022-2023: Martin Kiprotich

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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