Kenyan athletes focus on Guiyang World Cross
Nairobi, Jan 7 (IANS)
Three months before the world congregates in Guiyang, China, for the World Cross Country Championships, Kenyan athletes are taking nothing for chance as they focus on the global competition. Having broken on the senior ranks last year, Commonwealth Games 1,500m champion Faith Chepngetich is taking the war to her rivals doorsteps as she continue to dominate the Kenyan cross country circuit, reports Xinhua.
"It's important to test my body and fitness against different opponents. I believe making the Kenyan team is more difficult than competing against the Ethiopians and Ugandans at the World Championships," she said.
"China, Bahrain, US and Eritrea are also capable of presenting tough opponents and that is why I have to be at my best form when we head to Guiyang March 28."
Chepngetich beat her closest rivals former World Cross country champion Emily Chebet and Mercy Cherono in Sotik (west of Nairobi), but will not be resting on her laurels in the final 80 days in the count down to the World Cross Country event in Guiyang.
"Beating them was no bid surprise. Many of these athletes are just dusting off their rust after a break for the Christmas and New Year holidays. They will be different opponents when we meet at the national trials next month. It is there that I want to win and make the Kenya team," she said.
Also keen to make impact in the Kenya team are African junior cross-country champion Agnes Tirop, 19, Caroline Kipkirui, Joyce Chepkirui and Gladys Cherono.
The World Cross country in Guiyang China will be the 41st edition and hopes to attract over 80 countries in the one-day event set for March 28.
The event will play as a curtain raiser and ground for athletes to gauge their endurance ahead of the World Championships which will be held in Beijing in August.