Intense battles and surprise moves marked the 2024 Kenyan national cross-country trials. Athletics Kenya conducted the trials to select a team to represent the country at the World Cross Country Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.

Agnes Ngetich was the first to stretch the field in the second lap of the women’s 10km senior race. A dream team was already formed in the second lap; Ngetich, Beatrice Chebet, Immaculate Anyango, Lilian Kasait, and Margaret Chelimo were beginning to set themselves apart from the rest of the field. Chelimo soon dropped back, and a leading pack of four remained.

Looking at the four runners who held on together in the leading pack for the better part of the race—two of the only women in history to run a 10K in 28 minutes (Ngetich and Anyango), the world XC 10K champion (Chebet), and Lilian Kasait—this was a dream team going past the world cross country into the Paris 10,000m Olympics.

Ngetich, the 10K world record holder, eventually won the race. Immaculate Anyango, Lilian Kasait, Beatrice Chebet, and Margaret Chelimo followed each other in that order.

“The race was tough. Everyone wanted the ticket. Anyango, Beatrice, and Kasait were very strong. With Anyango, we have run together in various races, and I am so happy we made the team together,” Agnes Ngetich said as they stood and held each other’s shoulders with Anyango.

Unlike in the women’s race, the men did not separate until the last stages when seven formed a detached leading pack. Geoffrey Kamworor seemed to have been in control of the race from the start almost to the finish.

Sebastian Sawe made a calculated surge in the last 500m and never looked back till he crossed the finish line ahead of Samuel Chebolei and Gideon Ronoh. Kamworor, who later said he came to the national trials to test his endurance ahead of his marathon race in April, finished fourth.

After winning a silver medal at the African Cross Country Championships in the 10K event, Virginia Nyambura changed her distance today and won the women’s 2km senior race. 2023 World U20 cross country silver medalist and reigning U20 world 1500m champion Raynold Cheruiyot won the men’s 2km race ahead of Emmanuel Wanyonyi, the world 800m silver medalist.

Sheila Chebet and Samuel Kibathi won the women’s and men’s U20 races.

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