In 2017, at the world cross-country championships in Kampala, Uganda, Kenya’s Irene Cheptai led a Kenyan sweep of all the top six positions in the women’s senior race. They scored the highest marks (fewer points mean more marks) that can be scored by any team under the current World Athletics scoring systems.

Technically, team results are decided by the aggregate of places recorded by each team’s scoring athletes. The team with the lowest aggregate of points will be judged the winner. If a team fails to finish with a complete scoring team, the runners who finish will be counted as individuals in the race result and be eligible for the individual awards.

According to the rules, the Kenyan women in that outstanding outing only needed four runners to score. Still, they had an extra two runners finish ahead of the rest of the world—just in case two could have been disqualified! They scored 10 points.

Lilian Kasait, who won silver in Kampala, is the only woman from that amazing team who will be part of the Kenyan team in Belgrade.

Whether you use the World Athletics top lists this year, where eight of the Kenyan women are in the top ten in the 10K event, or the Kenyan trials, where the world cross country defending champion and world record holder for the 5K (pending ratification), Beatrice Chebet, finished fourth at the trials; everything points out to a possible great outcome for the Kenyan women on Saturday, the 30th of March.

The other formidable Kenyan women on the team are Agnes Jebet Ngetich and Emmacualte Anyango. In January, these two astonished the world by becoming the first two women to run a 10K in under 29 minutes at a 10K race in Valencia. Ngetich holds the world record at 28:46, while her compatriot Anyango holds the second-fastest time in history at 28:57.

Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi, the world 5000m silver medalist from Doha who is currently ranked 2nd in the world for road running, will be one of the experienced runners on the team.

23-year-old Cintia Chepngeno with an impressive personal best time of 30:08 in the 10K completes the six squad of Kenyan women in the senior race.

If the Kenyan women won’t dominate the senior women’s race, then it will be one of the biggest surprises in Belgrade.

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