IAAF Kenya conquers the world at the World Cross Country Championships

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The mixed relay team comprised of Asbel Kiprop, Winfred Mbithe, Bernard Kipkorir and Beatrice Kipkoech.

Kenya's victorious mixed relay team from left: Asbel Kiprop, Beatrice Chepkoech, Winnie Mbithe and Bernard Koros on March 26, 2017. play Kenya's victorious mixed relay team from left: Asbel Kiprop, Beatrice Chepkoech, Winnie Mbithe and Bernard Koros on March 26, 2017. (IAAF)

Kenya’s quest at conquering the world at the IAAF World Cross Country championships in Kampala Uganda began with a bang on Sunday after they bagged gold at the mixed relay race.

The mixed relay team comprised of Asbel Kiprop, Winfred Mbithe, Bernard Kipkorir and Beatrice Kipkoech.

“I am very happy for the team and this is a good sign of team work which helped us bag the medals," said Kiprop the 1,500m World champion.

Kiprop ran impressively and reached the changeover zone at the 2km mark in 5:19.

He handed over to Winfried Nzisa Mbithe with a six-second lead over Ethiopa’s Tufa, who passed the wristband to Bone Cheluke.

Read Also: Controversies rock Team Kenya ahead of International Cross Country Championships

“I knew I had to deliver this for the team, so I had to run fast,” Kiprop said of his role to lead out the team.

Mbithe, fuelled on by the many Kenyan fans that had travelled to Kampala the day before and who were racing alongside the course to support their athletes, took off like a storm.

play The mixed relay team comprised of Asbel Kiprop, Winfred Mbithe, Bernard Kipkorir and Beatrice Kipkoech. (Inside the Games )

 

Ethiopian challenge

Ethiopia, however, still had world indoor 3000m champion Yomif Kejelcha and 1500m world record-holder Genzebe Dibaba to come.

With 600m to go Dibaba was still about 15 metres behind the leader and not even her impressive 5:27 effort was enough to catch Chepkoech in the end.

With arms aloft and cheered on by the rest of her team behind the finish line, Chepkoech crossed the line to take the first gold of the day for the Kenyan relay in 22:22, eight seconds clear from Ethiopia.

The battle for bronze went to Turkey in the end (22:37), where Yasmin Can produced a strong 5:29 effort on the last leg.

Hosts Uganda finished in fourth (23:03), with Bahrain in fifth.

(Additional reporting by IAAF.org)

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