11 PACE athletes earned selection for the Kenyan team for the forthcoming IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Fukuoka, Japan after the Athletics Kenya Trials held in muddy conditions in Ngong racecourse. The team will be led by former World Cross Country Champions John Kibowen, Ben Limo and Vivian Cheruiyot while several new faces will wear the Kenyan singlet for the first time at a World Cross Country event.
The men’s 12k team will consist of Marthin Irungu Mathati, John Kibowen, Mike Kigen and Moses Masai. Mathati finished 3rd in the trial race ahead of Kibowen in 5th and long time leader Kigen in 6th. Masai earns his place after his recent victory in the Kenyan National Cross Country Championships.
The men’s 4k team will include World 5000m Champion Ben Limo who despite being pre-selected choose to ‘run around’. The ease with which Limo claimed 6th position in the Trials running from the back of the field indicates that he will be a major force in Japan.
Joseph Ebuya took 2nd position in the Junior men’s 8k race after leading for three of the four laps. The Commonwealth Games bound athlete will, like Limo, travel directly from Melbourne to Fukuoka in a team that include three new PACE athletes – Muinde Matheka in 3rd, Leonard Komol in 4th and Robert Ndiwa in 6th.
Vivian Cheruiyot left it until the last few strides to claim her place on the women’s 4k team, hauling in the field over the last 1000m to take 6th position.
Evelyn Wambui will compete in the women’s 8k in her adopted Japan after winning the National Cross Country and Commonwealth Games 10,000m Trials in the last few weeks.
The team is: Men 12km – Hosea Macharinyang, Simon Kiprop, Martin Irungu, Simon Arusei, John Kibowen, Mike Kigen, Moses Masai. 4km – Isaac Songok, Augustine Choge, Yusuf Biwott, Edwin Soi, Brimin Kipruto, Benjamin Limo. 8km – Mangata Ndiwa, Joseph Ebuya, Muinde Matheka, Ronald Komol, Robert Ndiwa, Gedion Ngatunyi. Women 8km – Alice Kimeto, Mercy Wanjiru, Faith Chemutai, Ednah Kiplagat, Consolata Chemutai, Everline Wambui. 4km – Prisca Jepleting, Beatrice Rutto, Beatrice Chepchumba, Nancy Wambui, Isabella Ochichi, Vivian Cheruiyot. 6km – Veronica Nyaruai, Pauline Chemining, Mercy Kosgei, Pamela Lisoreng, Gladys Chemweno, Emmy Chepkirui.