Regions in last minute changes for National X-Country event
What you need to know:
- The 2019 National Cross Country champion Hellen Obiri, who sealed her fifth Kenya Defence Forces title two weeks ago, will not feature after opting to compete at the Northern Ireland International Cross Country Championships on Saturday in Dundonald.
- KDF still has strong representation in the likes of seasoned athletes Sheila Chepkirui, the 2016 Africa 5,000m champion, Pauline Korikwiang and Perin Nenkampi.
Several Regions have made changes to their squads ahead of the Lotto Athletics Kenya (AK) National Cross Country Championships due Saturday at Lobo Village, Eldoret.
Nairobi Region have included World marathon champion Ruth Chepng'etich and metric miler Edinah Jebitok in their senior women's 10km team.
The duo was expected at the AK Nairobi Region Cross Country Championships at Kenya Prisons Nairobi West ground, but failed to compete.
Last year, Chepng'etich finished third during the National Cross Country Championships held at the Ngong Ngong Racecourse.
Chepng'etich and Jebitok will team up with the Nairobi event winner Emily Chebet, Mercy Chepkorir, Ann Naasisio and Doris Jerop for the Lobo competition.
Sandra Chebet, who won the Nairobi event last year, will this time around be representing South Rift's team that also has World Cross Country Under-20 champion Beatrice Chebet.
Kenya Police Service have also included World 5,000m silver medallist Margaret Chelimo to their squad replacing Faith Kimutai, who finished sixth.
Wirh defending champion Sheila Chelangat missing in action, Chelimo will lead Police's assault partnering with Caroline Nyaga, Margaret Wangare and Mercy Cherono among others.
The 2019 National Cross Country champion Hellen Obiri, who sealed her fifth Kenya Defence Forces title two weeks ago, will not feature after opting to compete at the Northern Ireland International Cross Country Championships on Saturday in Dundonald.
KDF still has strong representation in the likes of seasoned athletes Sheila Chepkirui, the 2016 Africa 5,000m champion, Pauline Korikwiang and Perin Nenkampi.
Senior men's 10km will be an open battle in the absence of defending champion Rogers Kwemoi, who is neither in the Central Rift or Kenya Police team.
Kwemoi won his maiden national cross country title last year with Central Rift, but has since enrolled with a Police.
World 10,000m bronze medallist Rhonex Kipruto, who claimed his first title with Police recently, is among the favourites for the national title.
Kipruto, the 10km World Record holder, will lead the Police team that also has Michael Kibet and Emmanuel Bett.
Several medallists from the World Under-20 Championships held last year will be hoping to make their presence felt at the event.
Teresia Gateri and Zena Chemutai, who won gold and silver respectively in 3,000m hope to graduate to the senior rank in style.
Gateri will be representing Central Region, while Chemutai will team up with 2017 World Cross Country champion Irene Cheptai in the North Rift team.
World Under-20 1,500m champion Purity Chepkirui is among the favourites for the women’s Under-20 6km title, while Benson Kiplang'at, who won the world junior title in 5,000m, will be in the thick of things in men's Under-20 8km race.
According to Central Rift chairman Abraham Mutai, preparations at Lobo Village are complete.
Mutai said 17 Regions including Kenya Wildlife Services will compete in the one-day event.
This is the second time Eldoret will be hosting the national event after 2019.
"We are 80 per cent ready but we hope everything will be up by Friday," said Mutai, adding that girls' under-18 5km race will open the proceedings at 9.15am.
Lobo Village will be the venue for Memorial Agnes Tirop World Cross Country Gold Tour on February 22
"The National Cross Country Championships will be used as a dry run for the world tour hence we want everything to fall in place well," said Mutai.
Order of events:
9.15am- Girls' Under-18 5km
9.45am- Boys' Under-18 6km
10.15am- Women's Under-20 6km
11.00am- Men's Under-20 8km
11.45am- Senior Women’s 10km
12.15am- Senior Men's 10km
1.05pm- Universal Relay