After pitching camp at the cold high altitude region of Mount Kenya forest, the national cross country team left for Kampala on Friday afternoon beaming with confidence of winning medals in the Ugandan capital.
The team, comprising of 30 athletes and 8 officials, left on Friday at 15.30hrs after a luncheon hosted by the national federation at Weston Hotel in Nairobi after successful preparations at St Marks Teachers Training College in Kigari, Embu.
And for the first time, the team will be enjoying the moral support of their fans after Athletics Kenya arranged transport for the cheerers who begun their journey to Uganda on road at the same team using hired buses.
Radiating ahead of the championship that will be held on Sunday at kololo Independent grounds, the squad boasts of wealth of experience in Geoffrey Kamworor and Faith Chepng’etich who have starred in similar championships before.
“We are all set for the championship in Kampala. There is nothing new in cross-country as we have been giving our best. There will be no change this year. We shall give our best,” said Chepng’etich, also the 1,500m Olympic champion ahead of their fine-tuning at Kigari.
Apart from Kamworor and Chepng’etich, the team will also draw inspiration from three-time 1,500metres World Champion Asbel Kiprop, the 2007 World junior champion, and Africa queen Alice Aprot who will all go flat-out for glory.
National champions Leonard Barsoton and Irene Cheptai will also be eyeing a piece of the cherry and it will be an-all Kenyan affair if the team employs teamwork to tame perennial opponent the Ethiopians and fellow countrymen who will be flying their adopted country’s flags.
This is the fifth time the World Cross-country is going to be held in Africa after Rabat (Morocco) pioneered in 1975. Stellenbosch in South Africa hosted the edition in 1996 before Marrakech (Morocco) in 1998 and Mombasa (Kenya) in 2007.
And for the first time, the World cross-country championship will feature a medley Relays, a consortium of two men and two women, who will each cover 2Km on of the cross country course in the relay format.
Athletics Kenya joins hands with the rest of the country in wishing the team the very best as they put all their energy in championships to ensuring the country’s national anthem is played in the neighbouring capital.