January 18, 2022

Preparations for the National Cross Country Championships have moved a notch higher with the release of the start list for the Eldoret-bound event.


A host of big names are pencilled to fight for the colours of their respective regions including two-time Olympic 1,500m champion Faith Kipyegon, who will up alongside the likes of World Under 20 800m champion Emmanuel Wanyonyi in the relays for Central Rift.


In the absence of regular National Police runner, former world record holder Geoffrey Kamworor, Rhonex Kipruto, Emmanuel Bett and Michael Kibet lead the line in the 10km senior men’s race.


They will, however, find stiff competition from the likes of Defence Forces’ Vedic Cheruiyot, Prisons duo of Charles Muneria and Wilfred Kimitei, Alexander Mutiso of Southern, Daniel Simiu and Edward Zakayo of North Rift as well as Leonard Bett of South Rift.


Panuel Mkungo highlights the Coast region’s team and so is Stanley Waithaka, in the colours of AK Nairobi region.


The women’s lineup presents an equally challenging outing with world marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich leading the line for Nairobi alongside Emily Chebet and 1,500m specialist Ednah Jebitok.


2017 world cross champion Irene Cheptai leads the North Rift women’s 10km sextet alongside Zena Chemutai with their biggest challenge coming from South Rift’s SandraFelis Chebet and Fancy Cherono while the experienced Defence Forces trio of Margaret Chelimo, Pauline Korikwiang and Perine Nenkampi will be tasked to fight for the title in the absence of two-time Olympic 5,000m silver medalist Hellen Obiri.


In the relays, a clash of the Manang’oi brothers, Elijah and George, is on the cards as they lead their respective Defence Forces and Police quartets.

Elijah will link up with world 3,000m steeplechase record holder Beatrice Chepkoech and 2014 Commonwealth Games champions steeplechase champion Purity Cherotich while George will be in the company of Olympic 3,000m steeplechase bronze medallist Benjamin Kigen and African 1,500m champion Winnie Chebet.


They will, however, find it rough as the Prisons team, led by Olympic 1,500m silver medallist Timothy Cheruiyot alongside steeplechaser, Celliphine Chespol and Boaz Kiprugut is not to be underrated. There will also be Under 18 and Under 20 categories for both genders.


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