All set for Discovery Kenya Cross Country in Eldoret

Nicholas Kimeli of Uasin Gishu County wins the senior men’s 10km race of the 29th edition of Discovery Kenya Cross Country Championships held at Eldoret Sports Club on January 26, 2020. Kimeli clocked 29:46:7, Robert Kiprop of Elgeyo-Marakwet County came second in 29:59:1, while Josphat Kipchirchir from Nandi County finished third clocking 30:07:7.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • This year Rosa Associati Management who are the organisers of the annual race scaled down the competition to only four categories which includes the junior women 6km, junior men 8km, senior women and men 10km races due to the coronavirus pandemic
  • Samuel Kibet, Isaac Kibet and Levi Kiprotich are some of the invited athletes from Rosa Management Camp in Kapchorwa, Uganda who will be competing in the race
  • According to Technical Director David Letting who is also a coach said that preparations are complete and they will be expecting a huge number of athletes after a long break due to the Covid-19 virus

The 30th edition of Discovery Cross Country Championships goes down on Sunday with a number of elite athletes expected to participate in the competitive race at Sports Club in Eldoret.

This year Rosa Associati Management who are the organisers of the annual race scaled down the competition to only four categories which includes the junior women 6km, junior men 8km, senior women and men 10km races due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The race is expected to be competitive given that many of the athletes have been at home since last year due to the pandemic.

Samuel Kibet, Isaac Kibet and Levi Kiprotich are some of the invited athletes from Rosa Management Camp in Kapchorwa, Uganda who will be competing in the race.

Nicholas Kimeli and World Under-18 800m silver medalist Lydia Jeruto emerged winners in the senior categories last year.

Kimeli bagged victory after crossing the line in 29:46.7 ahead of Robert Kiprop who timed 29:59.1 while Josphat Kipchirchir settled for third in 30:07.7.

In the women 8km senior category, Lydia Jeruto bagged victory timing 27:16.79 ahead of Peris Jepchirchir who timed 27:23.20 while Valary Aiyabei was third in 27:30.84.

Technical Director David Letting who is also a coach said that preparations are complete and they will be expecting a huge number of athletes after a long break due to the Covid-19 virus.

“We expect a large number of athletes because the season has kicked off and many will be competing to gauge how their bodies will react after staying at home for a long time. Covid-19 protocols must be adhered to and we hope it shall be successful,” said Letting.

Jeruto, who is the defending champion, said she hopes her body will react well keeping in mind that all the strong athletes will be targeting to win the annual race.

“I have been preparing well for some time now despite the fact that there were no races to compete in. I will be lining up for the race and my goal is to defend my title as part of preparations towards the Olympics Games trials,” said Jeruto who trains in Torongo, Baringo County.

Japan-based Rodgers Kwemoi who is also the Commonwealth Games bronze medalist in the 10,000m race said that he will be in the mix as he seeks to win the race.

Kwemoi, who jetted into the country early this year, said that he has done adequate training in Kaptagat, Elgeyo-Marakwet County where he is ready to meet with other strong athletes on Sunday.

“My preparations went on well but the race will act as training for me as we look forward to the season where I want to represent Kenya in the Olympics Games where I will be seeking a podium finish in 10,000m. It has been a long break and I know everybody will be eyeing the podium finish and I’m ready,” said Kwemoi.

Other athletes expected to compete include World 10,000m bronze medalist Agnes Tirop, 1,500m Olympic champion Faith Chepng’etich, World 5,000m silver medalist Margaret Chelimo, World 10,000m bronze medalist Rhonex Kipruto, 3,000m steeplechase world champion Conseslus Kipruto, Lilian Kasait among others.

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