Cheptai leads star-studded list for Iten Cross Country leg

Irene Cheptai

Kenya's Irene Cheptai wins the 2022 TCS World 10K Bengaluru race in India on May 15, 2022.



Photo credit: Pool

What you need to know:

  • The event will pave the way for the National trials that will be held on December 10 at the Kenya Prisons Training College in Ruiru, Kiambu County
  • The 2017 World Cross Country champion Irene Cheptai will line up for the senior women 10km race as she seeks to stamp her authority in cross country events once again
  • Other top athletes that will be featuring in the event include Nicholas Kimeli, Jacob Krop, Daniel Simiu, Caren Chebet, Alice Aprot, Michael Kibet, Robert Kiprop, Bravin Kiptoo, and Eva Cherono

The last leg of Athletics Kenya (AK) Cross Country Series will be held on Saturday in Iten, Elgeyo-Marakwet County where a good number of athletes are expected to grace the occasion. 

The event will pave the way for the National trials slated for December 10 at Kenya Prisons Training College in Ruiru, Kiambu County where the federation will select a team that will represent Kenya at the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, Australia on February 18 next year. 

In a previous statement, AK stated that Australia had set December 11, as the deadline to apply for the visas, which takes at least two months to process.

These changes forced them to separate the national trials for the World Cross Country Championships and the National Cross Country Championships.

The federation in its earlier communication had asked athletes who are interested in competing at World Cross Country Championships to participate in at least two legs in preparation for the national trials.

The last of leg of the Series is expected to be explosive as big names will feature in Iten. 

The 2017 World Cross Country champion Irene Cheptai will line up for the senior women 10km race as she seeks to stamp her authority in cross country events once again.

Cheptai, who has been training in Iten and competes in road races, cross country and track events, said she wants to try her luck once again after her 2017 success in Kampala, Uganda. 

“Athletics has changed since there are good upcoming athletes. I want to do my best and make the team once again. My goal is to represent Kenya in the forthcoming World Cross Country Championships if I will be invited for the trials,” Cheptai told Nation Sport.

Other top athletes that will be featuring in the event include Nicholas Kimeli, Jacob Krop, Daniel Simiu, Caren Chebet, Alice Aprot, Michael Kibet, Robert Kiprop, Bravin Kiptoo, and Eva Cherono. 

AK North Rift Region Public Relation Officer Boniface Tiren, said they expect a big number of athletes since it is the last leg before the national trials.

“Athletes who missed the previous four series will be seeking to compete in Iten since it is the last event before the national trials. Many athletes will want to use the race to get an invitation next weekend,” said Tiren.

During the trials, the first six athletes to cross the finish line, will get automatic places in Team Kenya with the seventh and eighth athletes being selected as reserves.

The National Cross Country Championships will be held on January 21 next year at the Kenya Prisons Training College, Ruiru.

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