Mwendwa, Kaveke toast to victories at Southern region X-Country

The 2018 Tanger Half Marathon champion Stephen Mwendwa and last year’s World Half Marathon bronze medalist Pauline Kaveke reigned supreme at the Athletics Kenya (AK) Southern Region Cross Country held at Machakos School grounds on Saturday. Mwendwa of Makueni County crossed the finish line in 30:56 to win the 10km senior men’s race while Japan based Katui Muia came second in a time of 31:18 as Daniel Muiva followed closely in 31:19. Bernard Matheka , the  2014 Commonwealth Games 3,000 metres steeplechase champion, Jonathan Ndiku, and Martin Mumo, finished in top six respectively earning a chance to represent the region in the National Cross Country set for Eldoret on February 23. Speaking to Citizen Digital after the win, Mwendwa also a silver medalist winner in last year’s Madoka Half Marathon maintained that he is targeting a place in Kenya’s team which will be selected during the nationals trials to represent Kenya at the World Cross Country Championship slated for March 30 in Aarhus, Denmark. “I can predict that I will have a good season basing on how I have started the year. I want to be in that team which will represent Kenya in Denmark so it means I must finish in top six,” he said, adding: “I also want to win Beyond Zero Half Marathon set for March 10.” In the senior women contest, Kaveke, a Japan based athlete clinched the race clocking 35:23 ahead of Grace Kimanzi who also trains in Japan with the latter finishing in a time of 35:53 while Naomi Vaati claimed the third place clocking 36:46. Ruth Nundu, Florence Nduku and Sarah Muthoki also booked their tickets to the national event after finishing in top six respectively. Also to fly the Southern region’s flag in Eldoret are the top six finishers in mixed relays, 8km junior men and 6km for corresponding junior women. Former world marathon record holder Patrick Makau, the 2014 World Indoor 3,000m champion Caleb Mwangangi and AK Senior Vice-President Paul Mutwii were among the guests at the event In Eldoret, other teams from other regions will compete alongside Kenya Police Service, Kenya Prisons Service, Kenya Defence Forces and Kenya Universities to select team for World Cross Country.  

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