Kenya have won gold in the inaugural mixed relay final, the first race of the day, with a total time of 22.22 minutes. In second came Team Ethiopia and in third was Team Turkey. Kenya’s victorious mixed relay squad (see photo from left): Asbel Kiprop, Beatrice Chepkoech, Winnie Mbithe and Bernard Koros.
Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop, the 2007 World U20 Cross Country champion, led from the start and he kept up the pace ahead of Ethiopia’s Welde Tufa on a hot Sunday afternoon.
The Kenyans willed on their own as Kiprop showed great strength and consistency to give his team a sizeable lead.
Winfried Nzisa Mbithe carried on for the Kenyans as the crowds burst into life. Ethiopia was a close second while Turkey battled on in third.
At some point, Turkey’s Meryem Akdag was hot-on-the-heels of Ethiopia’s Bone Cheluke.
At the second changeover, Team Kenya had built a wealthy 15 seconds over Ethiopia and 18 over pursuing Turkey.
Hosts Uganda and Bahrain were still in it. Bernard Koros of Kenya took it on for the Kenyans as Yomif Kejelcha of Ethiopia was close behind.
Koros eventually handed over to Beatrice Chepkoech who had to face some formidable competition in the form of Genzebe Dibaba.
Dibaba did manage to close in on the Kenyan, but Chepkoech kept up and crossed the finish line to secure Kenya’s gold in the maiden Mixed relay race.