Report22 Dec 2012

Mateelong masterclass in Embu


Peter Mateelong wins at the KCB/Athletics Kenya National Cross Country Series meeting in Embu (© Mutwiri Mutuota)

Embu, Kenya - Peter Mateelong provided a tactical master class in the senior men’s race while 2011 IAAF World Cross Country Championships junior women’s gold medallist Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon suffered a surprise defeat by her contemporaries at a well-attended 5th KCB/Athletics Kenya National Cross Country Series meeting in Embu on Saturday (22).


The last event on the local calendar before the holiday break saw 328 athletes compete, including 2008 Olympic Games 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop, in the four races hosted in the scenic Eastern Kenya town  247km from the capital.


Mateelong rules again


The opening meeting of the series on 3 November saw Mateelong, the younger brother of the well-known steeplechaser Richard, triumph over seven-time World Cross Country Championships veteran Hosea Mwok Macharinyang and it was a similar scenario in Embu, with Mateelong pulling away from

Macharinyang over the final 600m.


“In Nyahururu, he went to the lead and I came from behind and this time, I decided to do the front running since I knew he would be ready,” said the winner, who clocked 36:33 for the 12km race, conducted in sunny but very humid conditions.


From the gun, Asbel Kiprop acted as the rabbit over the opening 5km and such was his blistering pace that by the time dropped out, only 11 of the 199 starters still harboured realistic podium aspirations.


“I was testing my hamstring and I did not suffer any reaction so I’m pleased that I have recovered,” said the middle distance star, who suffered hamstring problems in the defence of his Olympic title in London and trailed home 12th in the final.


The 2011 African Cross Country Championships winner John Mwangangi, 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships 10000m bronze medallist Geoffrey Kirui and Kenyan international Linus Chumba, as well as Mateelong and Macharinyang, were there remaining contenders at the bell but Mateelong managed to shake them all off as he kicked for home and won by one second.


“I’m in good shape to make the Kenyan team since my brother told me to carry the family’s flag to Poland where he captained our nation. I promise something special in the Defence Forces Championships in January 19 and after that, I will prepare for the Trials,” declared Mateelong.


Glady Cherono, the first Kenyan to bag the distance double at continental level when she won over 5000m and 10000m at the African Championships this summer, prevailed by a stride in the senior women’s 8km race over Chicago Marathon third place finisher Lucy Kabuu, the pair being timed at 28:00 and 28:01.


Chepngetich humbled


For the past two years, the sight of the diminutive Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon destroying fields across the nation and internationally has become the norm.


However, the World junior champion at both cross country and on the track had to settle for fifth place in Embu after the 2012 World Junior Championships 3000m fold medallist Mercy Chebwogen set an unrelenting pace for much of the junior women’s 6km race, which Chepngetich Kipyegon was unable to match.


However, Chebwogen still had to resist a determined challenge mounted by Agnes Chebet, with the pair crossing the line in 20:45 and 20:46.


Chepng’etich clocked 21:36 to finish behind two of her namesakes, Rofline and Sheila, who placed third and fourth respectively in 20:52 and 21:25.


In a race that had the tightest conclusion of the day, Kiprono Bett was given the verdict in the junior men’s 8km race after he and Alex Mutiso arrived at the tape almost glued together. Both men were given the same time of 24:26.


The winner is a younger brother of 2010 World Junior Championships 10000m gold medallist Josphat Bett,  


The series will conclude in Nairobi and Kericho in January, paving way for various institutional championships that will help Kenyan preparations for the 2013 World Cross Country Championships in the Polish city of Bydgoszcz.


Mutwiri Mutuota (Capital FM) for the IAAF


Leading results:


Junior women 6km

1. Mercy Chebwogen 20:45

2. Agnes Chebet 20:46

3. Rofline Chepngetich 20:52

4. Sheila Chepngetich 21:25

5. Faith Chepgnetich Kipyegon 21:36

6. Wanza Mathya 21:40

7. Dorcas Nzembi 21:43

8. Nduku Musingya 21:45

9. Joyline Cheprotich 21:45

10. Catherine Syokau 21:55


Junior men 8km

1. Kiprono Bett 24:26

2. Alexander Mutiso 24:26

3. Joseph Kimathi 24:27

4. Katui Muia 24:36

5. Julius Tanki 24:39

6. Hillary Maiyo 24:39

7. James Murithi 24:42

8. Kipng’eno Rotich 24:44

9. Kiprotich Mutai 24:49

10. Timothy Kimeli 24:57


Senior women 8km

1. Gladys Cherono 28:00

2. Lucy Kabuu 28:01

3. Phanicier Jemutai 28:10

4. Priscilla Lorchima 28:10

5. Pamela Lisoreng 28:11

6. Beatrice Chepkemoi 28:13

7. Linet Chepkurui 28:22

8. Gladys Chemweno 28:27

9. Agnes Jesang 28:32

10. Agnes Mutunge 28:41


Senior men 12km

1. Peter Mateelong 36:33

2. Hosea Macharinyang 36:34

3. John Chepkwon 36:36

4. John Mwangangi 36:37

5. Geoffrey Kirui 36:38

6. Linus Chumba 36:45

7. Reuben Limaar 36:56

8. Joseph Bett 37:05

9. Clement Kemboi 37:17

10. Jonathan Muia 37:18