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World silver winners Cheruiyot, Aprot star in Kenya Prisons meet

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Timothy Cheruiyot who won the silver medal at the London 2017 London World Championships will be the top attraction in the men’s 10km race at the 2018 Kenya Prisons Cross Country Championships in Nairobi.

The corresponding senior women’s competition will be headlined by Alice Aprot who won silver at the Kampala 2017 World Cross where she will be coming in to defend her title.

In the men’s long race, Cheruiyot, who completed the Kenyan 1-2 in the 1500m final behind countryman Elijah Manangoi last August, is the outstanding favorite having underlined his credentials by winning the IAAF Cross Permit meeting in Europe last weekend.

Cheruiyot and fellow Kenyan Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi took top honours at the 41st Antrim International Cross Country in Greenmount on Saturday, the first IAAF Cross Country Permit meeting of 2018.

In a sprint for the line, Cheruiyot managed to just hold off Mogos Tuemay of Ethiopia for the victory with both athletes timed at 23:12 and with the rising middle distance track runner keen on medalling at the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

On paper, Daegu 2011 Worlds silver winner, Silas Kiplagat, is the rank contender but based on recent form, Wilfred Kimitei who won the silver medal at the Durban 2016 African Championships could be the man to beat at the Prisons cross meeting.

Other promising contenders for the medals in the 10km race are Kibet Barng’etuny from Rift Valley, Cleophas Rop from Western and former Africa Cross champion; John Mwangangi from Nyanza.

Mark Bett, who was in the 4x2000m Mixed Relay team that delivered gold for Kenya at the Kampala World Cross, will spearhead the same race at Saturday’s event.

In the women’s senior contest, Prisons titleholder Aprot will line up for the start alongside Olympics 800m bronze medallist and former world junior champion, Margaret Wambui Nyairera.

Gladys Kemboi, Caren Chepkoech and Euven Akoth are the other potent challengers for the podium in the field.

Aprot who clocked 32:50 for victory last year before going to Uganda and following Irene Cheptai across the line for World Cross silver went on to finish fourth in the 10000m race at the London 2017 Worlds.

Prisons Sports Public Relations Officer and Kenya sprints head coach, Stephen Mwaniki, said only Prisons staff will take part at the event.

"The categories were won by civilians last year but we have locked them out this year to give our athletes a good chance to give their best since we want a strong team for the nationals," Mwaniki added.



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