Confusion marred the senior men’s 10km race as Kibiwott Kandie stunned favourite and two-time champion Geoffrey Kamworor from Kenya Police Services to hand Kenya Defence Forces their title in 17 years during the Lotto Athletics Kenya Cross Country Championships on Saturday at the Ngong Racecourse.
Kamworor, who had taken command of the race in the last three laps, was misdirected in the last bend to the home-straight.
The route marshals failed to open the tape for the leading Kamworor, who had to go back.
However, it was too late for Kamworor since the tape had been opened for Kandie who was now far ahead as the KDF man claimed victory in 29 minutes and 57.7 minutes.
Kandie is the first KDF athlete to win the title since John Cheruiyot Korir in 2003.
A dejected Kamworor, the 2016 and 2018, settled second in 30:05.5 as Nicholas Kimeli from Central Rift clocked 30:12.0 for third place.
Another KDF athlete, Alfred Barkach came in fourth in 30:25.7 with Emmanuel Bett from Kenya Police Services wrapping the top five vanguard in 30:30.9.
“I had prepared well for this race and it feels great to win for the first time,” said Kibiwott, who has dominated the KDF Championships for the last two years.
Kibiwott said he is ready to lead Team Kenya at the Africa Cross Country Championships due April 8 in Lome, Togo.
However, Kenya Police Services protested and lodged a complaint with the race organisers to cancel the results.