• In the women’s category, Kenya garnered 14 points to finish top while Great Britain and Northern Ireland tied for second place with 43.
•Philemon Kiriago inspired Kenya to the team title after clinching a silver in the race which was won by Uganda’s Leonard Chemutai.
Kenya bagged team titles in the mountain classic races as the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships concluded in Innsbruck-Stubai, Austria on Saturday.
In the women’s category, Kenya garnered 14 points to finish top while Great Britain and Northern Ireland tied for second place with 43. France were third with 46 points.
In the men’s category, Kenya bagged gold with 15 points ahead of Italy (30) and Spain (43).
Philemon Kiriago inspired Kenya to the team title after clinching a silver in the race which was won by Uganda’s Leonard Chemutai. Chemutai finished in 56:14 while Kiriago clocked 56:22 in the closely-contested encounter while Germany’s Filimon Abraham won bronze in 56:27.
Other Kenyans in the race were Patrick Kipngeno and Josphat Kiprotich who finished and eighth in respective times of 57:27 and 59:34.
Kiriago was content with his second straight silver at the championships.
“The race was fantastic, true to my training in Kenya. I’m so happy to bring a silver to Kenya. I’m hoping to bring all the gold medals to Kenya in 2025,” he told World Athletics.
In the women’s category, Joyce Muthoni 1:06:40 finished third in a race won by Grayson Murphy in 1:04:29. Tove Alexandersson of Sweden was second in 1:05:26.
Valentine Jepkoech (1:06:56) and Philaries Jeruto (1:08:31) were fourth and seventh respectively.
Muthoni said it was a “really amazing” achievement to win bronze, while also helping Kenya to the team title.
She told World Athletics: “I prepared well and I believed I could do it. To finish third is good but, hopefully, I can go higher next year.”
The athletes will now focus on the World Cup mountain running races where Kipng’eno will seek to defend his title while Kiriago, who finished second, will hope to improve on last year’s performance.
Athletic Kenya Mountain running chairman Peter Angwenyi termed the championships as unforgettable.
“This is a memorable event. Overall Kenya won more medals than any other country despite fielding only seven athletes,” said Angwenyi.
“We selected top mountain runners in the country. The Barng’etuny Mountain running in Nandi and Mt Kenya mountain running events helped us get the best athletes. The future of mountain running in Kenya is bright.”