Kenyan National Cross Country promises to be a tough competition

Kenyan National Cross Country promises to be a tough competition | Kenyan National Cross Country Championship | Eldoret |

After the start list for the national cross country championship was revealed on Tuesday, cross country fans in Eldoret can expect a plateful of fun this weekend. The Kenyan National Cross Country Championships are expected to be a competitive tournament. Kenyan National Cross Country promises to be a tough competition.

The men’s 10km senior race will be a tough struggle, with some major names vying for the national crown as upstarts try to produce an upset.

After racing against each other at the Kenya Prisons Service trials, Charles Muneria, the 2016 Africa Cross Country Championship bronze medallist, will reprise his fight with Wilfred Kimitei, the 2016 Africa Championship 10,000m silver medalist.

Muneria timed 30:06.5 to clinch his fourth KPS cross country title, ahead of Boaz Kiprugut (30:08.5) and Kimitei (30:17.7) in second and third respectively.

However, it will not be a Prisons’ affair as other regions and affiliates boast stellar names capable of running away with the national title.

World 10km record holder Rhonex Kipruto will be leading the National Police Service contingent in the absence of former world half marathon record holder Geoffrey Kamworor.

After he clinched the Police title at the Ngong Race Course a week ago, Rhonex was clear about his determination to shine at the national championships and inherit the title currently held by Jpan-based Rodgers Kwemoi.

Also expected to raise the stakes in this race are 2017 under 18 2000m steeplechase champion Leonard Bett, San Silvestre Vallecana champion Daniel Simiu and 2018 Commonwealth 5000m bronze medalist Edward Zakayo.

In the women’s senior race, it will be similarly an intense battle even as  two-time Olympic 5000m silver medalist Hellen Obiri (Defence Forces) and last year’s winner Sheila Chelangat (Police) give the event a wide berth.

The 2015 Africa Games 10,000m champion Alice Aprot, Nocturna Valencia 15km champion Joyce Chepkemoi, 2016 Africa 5000m champion Sheila Chepkirui and 2015 World Cross Country silver medalist Irene Cheptai are among the big names many bookmakers will tip for glory at Kapseret on Saturday.

However, considering the unpredictable nature of the cross country, it would not be surprising for new names to emerge from the event, which is a dry run for the Agnes Tirop Cross Country Tour on February 12 at the same venue.

Commenting on the national championship, Athletics Kenya’s Director of Youth Development Barnaba Korir said they are eagerly awaiting the competition.

“We are really looking forward to the championship. It is one of the opportunities to enjoy some cross country action. As you know, the World Cross Country Championships that was to be held in Australia this year has been postponed to 2023. So, alongside the World Cross Country Tour, the national championship provides our athletes with a chance to compete,” Korir said.

Korir, also the chair of AK Nairobi region, expressed optimism their representatives will churn out great performances on Saturday.

“We are going to have athletes in all the four categories. In the 2020/21 season, there were challenges mainly related to Covid-19, which complicated training. This time, we have prepared and hope many of our athletes will get podium places,” he said.

Aside from the senior classifications, the under 20 and under 18 boys and girls events, as well as the mixed relay, will be held.


By Athleticshour

Sekyere Richard has had a 10-year involvement in the sport of athletics. He holds a Diploma in Physical Fitness. Sekyere has experienced the sport as a middle/distance athlete, coach, and now journalist and blogger. Sekyere has published several articles on athletics from Ghanaian Athletics to World Athletics. He currently owns and manages the content and marketing development of Athletics Hour. "I am passionate about sports, love writing and interviewing, traveling, and meeting new athletes and coaches. I like to expose the hidden talents in the youth and I am always in search of talents across Ghana". I have volunteered in one of the biggest ultra-marathons in the world "The Elton Ultra Marathon in Russia. Covered many races in Ghana including ECOWAS CAA Region II Championship and multiple roads and track races in Ghana. In 2021, he launched the "Better Ghana Athletics Agenda", which will help support organisers, athletes and coaches in all directions.

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