Beatrice Chebet over the moon after surprising win at the World X-country Champs

ATHLETICS Beatrice Chebet over the moon after surprising win at the World X-country Champs

Abigael Wafula 10:01 - 18.02.2023

Chebet admitted that she had already given up on the title chase and had made peace with settling for second place.

Newly-crowned World Cross-country champion Beatrice Chebet has expressed her excitement towards what she termed as a ‘surprising win’ at the championships in Bathurst, Australia.

In her debut at the senior category, Chebet was in a class of her own as she put up a good show and ran a tactical race to clinch the title in 33:48. She edged out Ethiopia’s Tsigie Gebreselama who finished second at a time of (33:56) as Agnes Ngetich placed third in 34:00.

This marks the eighth consecutive year Kenya has won the medal and it is all thanks to Chebet.

The 22-year-old now brags of a junior title (she won at the 2019 World Cross-country championships) and a senor title.

The race was in high contention as Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey had charged up and was going for the title but a few meters to the finish line, she had a hitch and Chebet could not waste the chance as she unleashed a finishing kick to cross the finish line first. Gidey finished the race fourth in 34:10.

“I am so happy with this win…I am short of words. I did not expect to win because I had already given up…I knew I was going to get silver,” Chebet said.

Going forward, Chebet intends to test herself at the Diamond League meetings and the World Championships in August in Budapest, Hungary.

She added that she would want to also bring a gold medal back from the World Championships.

Chebet was a last-minute entrant to the World Cross-country championships and she has proven that the move by Athletics Kenya was worth it.

“I want to thank AK for their consideration and I am glad I did not fail them,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Under-20 men's champion Ishamel Kipkirui noted that camping at Kigari Training Teachers college was an added advantage for him because the course in Bathurst was no different. 

“The course at the training camp where I have been with the Kenyan team has the same kind of bends that we ran through, especially the corners and we practiced those angles,” said Kipkirui. “That helped me to win in the end.”

On his part, Kyumbe Munguti, who displayed a good show in the mixed relay race, was happy with the win and hoped that the hot streak will be maintained going forward. 

“If you perform well in cross country, it's one of the assurances that you have prepared well in other competitions,” said Munguti. “We are happy with where we are now and trust that we will do well in the future.”

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