By John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua)
-- Kenya has ruled the World
Cross Country Championships in all the four editions
held in Africa. That trend is not about to end as the
team takes their title challenge to Kampala, Uganda on
Juma Ndiwa, himself a former 800 meters runner, who
represented the country in World Championships and
Olympics, said there is every sign that the team will
rule the roost in the Ugandan capital. It will also be
the fifth time the championships will be hosted by
Africa after Rabat in 1975, Johannesburg in 1996,
Marrakech in 1998 and Mombasa in 2007.
which has pitched camp in Embu, will be leaving Nairobi
for Kampala on Thursday with only one mission, to write
history as the ultimate winners before the event moves
to Europe, Asia and America.
watch this team in Kampala. We have the best talent,
athletes who are hungry to excel despite their numerous
accolades on the international scene. They will not
not however, mean that we are overlooking the opponents.
It is a competition and everyone has a target to win.
But I believe my team has the hunger and strength to go
the extra mile to make sure we have the medals in our
vault,” said Ndiwa.
daunting task especially in the senior races as Ethiopia
and host Uganda plan to oust them from the throne.
However, national women champion Irene Cheptai, who will
be leading from the front has sounded the war tune and
thrown down the gauntlet.
“We have the
best squad and though they are serious in their attempt
to stop us, it is going to be real war on that course,”
team up with defending champion Agnes Tirop, 1,500m
Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon, Lillian Kasait, world
3,000 meters steeplechase champion Hyvin Kiyeng and
Africa 10,000 meters champion Alice Aprot.
this team tick is not the individual talent each
possess, but the spirit of team work. The team is strong
and the training is helping us each day. We will help
one another to succeed. We are hoping to get all the
medals,” said Kipyegon
athletes from 54 countries and regions are expected to
compete in Kampala, the highest number of countries and
regions represented at the IAAF World Cross Country
Championships since 2009.
topped the medal tables at four of the past five
editions, but its rivalry with Ethiopia is expected to
remain fierce. The two nations split the four individual
titles in 2015 at two apiece, while Ethiopia captured 11
medals in all to Kenya’s nine.
is also expected to wage a strong battle for both
individual and team crowns, with Eritrea and Bahrain
also likely to play key roles in several of the medal
fights. Others expected in the mix for team medals
include Turkey, the United States, Japan, and Great
Britain and Northern Ireland.
Kimetto not giving up on career, pledge to come back
By John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua)
-- World marathon record
holder Dennis Kimetto of Kenya is not considering
hanging up his spikes even as he succumbed to another
injury that will see him miss the Boston marathon on
has not competed since his dismal performance at the
Beijing World Championships in 2015. It has been one
injury crisis after another, but he believes he still
has got the strength left in his sail to deliver a big
victory when he gets fit.
“I am not
giving up. I am not taking it easy. Very sad not to go
to Boston marathon, but I’m confident to be back. One
step back, two steps in front,” said Kimetto Monday in
had overcome an ankle injury, has been forced to stop
his training after he slid in training and injured his
knee over the weekend. He posted pictures of his injured
knee on his official twitter account, which showed a big
what happened to me. I fell down with my knee and it
needed to be stitched. Scanning showed nothing damaged,”
from Eldoret on Monday, Kimetto, who holds the world
record at 2:02:57, the only man to have run the 42km
distance under 2:03:00, said his record may not stand
announced that three of its athletes would seek to run a
sub-two-hour marathon in April. Olympic champion Eliud
Kipchoge is training for the sub-two attempt. There is
also Ethiopian Boston champion Lelisa Desisa and world
half marathon world record-holder Zersenay Tadese.
trio will be running on a Formula One circuit in Italy
with IAAF saying it will not recognize the record, at
least not for now if it is broken.
there are efforts to have someone break the record and
under two hours. It is not as easy as it sounds. It
requires a lot of efforts and everything must be
perfect. Hopefully the team from Nike will succeed but I
know it is no easy task,” he said.
competed for Kenya at the 2015 World Championships in
Beijing, China but failed to finish the race citing high
temperatures. But he has seen his career stall with
injuries creeping in for the last two years limiting his
holds the marathon record at 2:02:57 in Berlin 2014. He
is also a winner of Tokyo, Chicago and Berlin marathons.