National cross country champion Charles Lokir says making it to this year’s World Championships in Budapest, Hungary will be the pinnacle of his joy after he won the senior men’s 10km race at the Sirikwa Classic World Cross Country Tour in Eldoret on Saturday.
Lokir timed 0:30:14 to clinch first place, ahead of Josephat Kiprotich (0:30:19) and Dennis Kipngetich (0:30:21) in second and third respectively.
“The next focus for me is the Athletics Kenya Track and Field Weekend meeting, which will be held in Nyayo Stadium, I think…sometime next month. My coach has advised me to specialize in the 10,000m and that’s what I want to do with an eye on the World Championships later this year,” the West Pokot born and raised said.
The men’s 10,000m has been an achilles heel for Kenya with Stanley Waithaka the country’s best performer at last year’s World Championship in Oregon where he finished second behind Uganda’s
Nonetheless, Lokir remains bullish, spurred by his exploits at Lobo village on Saturday, over two weeks after he put in a virtuoso performance to win the national cross country title at the Kenya Prisons Training College in Ruiru.
He added that he had started preparations for this World Cross Country Tour Gold event as soon as the curtains came down on the national event.
“It was what I had my mind on ever since we came back from Ruiru. I wanted to come here and put in a good performance although I have to admit that I was a bit tense. Anyway, there’s nothing that can compare to the feeling of winning the Sirikwa Classic. I thank God so much for this victory,” he said.
Lokir also competed at last December’s national trials for the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, Australia but unfortunately failed to make the final team.