Commander Kenya Army Lieutenant General Walter Raria fires off the 10Kms women’s race
World 5000 metres champion Hellen Obiri asserted her dominance in long distance races as she defended her 10 kilometres women’s race win, during the 38th edition of the Kenya Defence Forces Cross Country Championships held at the Kahawa Garrison on Friday, 25 January 2019.
Sergeant Obiri from the Laikipia Air Base team took a 300 metres gap lead in the second lap of the course, which she maintained to the end to finish in a time of 32 minutes, 19.5 seconds. The second position was taken by Sapper Irene Kamais from Thika with a time of 33.01.6 minutes, with Moi Air Base’s Senior Private Deborah Sum coming in third in a time of 33.34.3 minutes.
The thrilling 10km men’s race saw several athletes kneck to kneck in all the laps of the course, with the final result being decided by a couple of metres. Gunner KibiwotKandie from Embakasi overcame strong opposition to emerge best ahead of former world youth champion Senior Private Lawi Komen from Moi Air Base and Mtongwe’s Vedic Cheruiyot. Kandie made it in a time of 28.55.7 minutes, while Komen took 29.01.4 minutes with Cheruiyot completing in 29.03.7 minutes.
In the 4 by 2 (8 kilometres) Mixed Relay (Universal race), Kahawa team held on from the first lap to emerge winners, followed by Mtongwe and Nanyuki in second and third places respectively. The best team overall crown was taken by Moi Air Base, followed by Laikipa Air Base and Kahawa in third position. Mtongwe were fourth and Embakasi fifth.
In her speech read by the chief guest of the day; Defence Principal Secretary SaitotiTorome, Defence Cabinet Secretary Ambassador RaychelleOmamo praised the organisers for a job well done, mentioning that the event had set the standards for such events. She expressed optimism that the 45 athletes’ team selected to represent KDF at the upcoming national trials would fly KDF’s flag high. The CS urged all not to forget the crucial role of sports in the promotion of peace and togetherness.
Vice Chief of Defence Forces Lieutenant General Robert Kibochi congratulated those who had emerged winners, and encouraged the rest to not give up but train harder for future events. He also thanked the International Military Sports Council and other International sports bodies for the support and training opportunities they had continued to offer KDF. KDF Sports Control Board Chair and Assistant Chief of Defence Forces in Charge of Personnel and Logistics Major General Fatma Ahmed expressed sentiments that KDF would continue to work closely with Athletics Kenya and Anti Doping campaigners to ensure the continued growth of athletics, sentiments that were echoed by Competition Director and Chairman Kenya Defence Forces Athletics Brigadier Dennis Pyaban.
A KDF team to take on Kenya Police, Kenya Prisons among other teams during the national trials was selected during the championships. The national trials cum championships will be held on 23 February and the winners will join the team to represent Kenya during the 44th IAAF World Cross Country Championships to be held in Aarhus, Denmark on 30 March 2019.
The competition brought together over 180 athletes from 14 teams namely Lanet, Nanyuki, Garissa, Marsabit, Gilgil, Isiolo, Embakasi, Thika, Kahawa, Nairobi, Moi Air Base, Laikipia Air Base, Mtongwe and the Defence Forces Constabulary.
Present were Commander Kenya Army Lieutenant General Walter Raria, Commander Kenya Air Force Major General Francis Ogolla, Commander Kenya Navy Major General Levi Mghalu, General and Senior Officers, Officials from KDF Athletics, Athletics Kenya personnel led by CEO Rose Kamau, Anti Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) officials and members of the Cooperative bank who sponsored the event.
Vice Chief of Defence Forces Lieutenant General Robert Kibochi has a light moment with one of the 10Km men’s race athletes before commencement of the race
Participants of the 10km men’s race fight off for glory
Hellen Obiri leads other athletes during the 10Km women’s race.
Kibiwott Kandie; winner of the 10Km men’s race in an interview with members of the press
Moi Air Base are presented with the Best Team overall trophy
Vice Chief of Defence Lieutenant General Robert Kibochi makes his address during the event
Principal Secretary Ministry of Defence Mr. ToromeSaitoti makes his address during the Kenya Defence Forces Cross Country Championships 2019 at the KahawaGarisson, Nairobi.