Newly crowned national cross country champion Charles Lokir says his next target is to clinch the Sirikwa Classic Cross Country Tour, set for February 4 at Lobo village in Eldoret.
Lokir timed 0:29:16 in first place, ahead of Isaac Kibet (0:29:16) and Dennis Kipng’etich (0:29:23) in second and third respectively.
“I thank God for the victory today especially after what happened to me during the national trials at this very place. Going forward, I am hoping to compete in the Sirikwa Classic and will be working hard towards that,” Lokir, who finished fifth at last year’s Agnes Tirop Memorial Cross Country Tour, said.
Lokir had to work hard for his victory, fending off a last-minute resurgence from Kibet, who powerful kick in the last lap almost denied the West Pokot native top honour in the race.
Lokir said he has had to put in extra effort in training following past disappointments in the cross country and other races.
“We had to sit down as a team, my coach and I, and see where we were going wrong as far as my career is concerned. We identified them, rectified and now I am back. I had to do a lot of digging,” he said.
On the other hand, North Rift’s Kibet said the second-placed finish has motivated him ahead of the track and field season.
“I am satisfied with this finish today because as you can see, it was not a race for the faint-hearted. My dream is to represent Kenya at the World Championships in Hungary and I am praying and hoping that I will be able to make the team,” Kibet said.
For the win, Lokir walked home with over Kes 100,000 ($1000) whereas Kibet and Kipngetich were Kes 80,000 ($800) and Kes 70,000 ($700) richer respectively.