The National Team to the 42nd International Association of Athletics Federation World Cross Country Championships report for their final training in Kigari this Wednesday ahead of the March 26th engagement in Uganda.
The squad of 36 personnel, including team officials, will go into residential camp for less than a month at the customary cross country training base at St. Mary’s Teachers Training College Kigari in Embu.
However, the team will miss vital input of versatile Bedan Karoki Muchiri who finished second during the Saturday selections as he has opted to concentrate on the April London Marathon where he will make his debut in the 42.195Km lucrative event.
While in Kigari, located in the cool breeze of Mt Kenya, the team will undergo the final tune-up including team-running tactics under the tutorage of former elite runners Juma Ndiwa (800m) and Francis Kamau (Road Race).
“We are starting our residential training on Thursday. Most of the team members are not new to cross-country and our training will focus mainly on teamwork and tactics. The team also needs to be psyched before flying to Kampala,” said assistant coach Kamau after officials’ meeting at Riadha House on Tuesday.
Reigning World Champions Geoffrey Kamworor, Agnes Tirop and three-time 1,500metres Champion Asbel Kiprop will be the team fulcrum as they anchor the 30-member strong contingent that also include the Mixed Relays.
Kamworor will have to tread with cautiousness as national champion Leonard Barsoton is itching for glory after turning tables on him and Karoki during the selection last week that witnessed major upsets.
Vincent Rono, Regular competitor Leonard Patrick Komon, Leonard Langat will team up with Kamworor in senior men team while national champion Irene Cheptai, Olympic 1,500m Champion Faith Chepng’etich, fresh senior graduate Lilian Kasait, African queen Alice Aprot and Steeplechase World silver medalist Hyvin Kiyeng will be dependable in senior women.
In the two junior classes, experienced Richard Kimuyan and Sandra Chebet will be the spin doctors as they lead the medal hunt onslaught during the March 26 global duel scheduled for Kololo commemorative grounds in Kampala, Uganda.
For the first time, they championship will feature Mixed Relays, a consortium of male and female competitors exchanging the batons alternatively after with each covering 2Kilometres.
Kiprop, who discovered his winning ability during the 2007 World cross country championships in Mombasa, is marshalling the quartet of Margaret Nyairera, Bernard Kipkorir and Beatrice Chepkemoi in the Relays.
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