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Shock defeat for stars in Kenyan XC trials

2006-03-06

Olympic 5000 metres silver medallist Isabella Ochichi suffered a shock defeat at the Kenyan trials for this year's IAAF World Cross Country Championships. Ochichi despite some good showings on the European circuit this winter, underwent her heaviest defeat on home soil in Nairobi. The pre-race favourite and two-times world cross bronze medallist, was well off the pace when placing fifth in the four kilometres short course race.

But Ochichi who before the World Championships will compete in the Commonwealth Games 5000 metres, insisted her preparations for both major events  remain on course. “I have got the endurance that I wanted and I can assure you of medals in Melbourne and Fukuoka,” said the highly confident 26-year-old police officer. Prisca Jepleting won the contest by four seconds ahead of Beatrice Rutto in a time of 14 minutes 20s seconds, with Beatrice Chepchumba third in 14:32. Ochichi clocked 14:41. 

Augustine Choge and Ben Limo who are also doubling at the fast approaching major championships, were also well beaten in their 4K race by Isaac Songok. Songok had a five seconds winning margin ahead of Choge in a time of 12:15 while sixth placed Limo finished in 12:34. Limo who will partner Choge over 5000m in Melbourne, echoed the self belief expressed by Ochichi when saying he can win medals at both venues.

“The course was too muddy. But I am fine with the result and I hope to win medals in  Melbourne and Fukuoka,” said last summer's World 5000m gold medallist.

David Martin


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