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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Kenyan Kiprono Menjo, 38, bids for Kenyan squad for Africa Championships through Okpekpe 10km

NAIROBI  (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s Kiprono Menjo hopes his performance at the sixth edition of the Okpekpe International 10km in Japan on Sunday will help his bid to secure a place in the Kenya team to the Africa Championships in Asaba, Nigeria in August.

Menjo, who has not competed for Kenya in the last six years, wants to make a comeback but knows a horde of upcoming youngsters will be keen to claim a berth in the chocking 10,000m field.

“It is very hard to get a chance to run for Kenya in track competition. That is why majority of athletes move to road race. But I want to return home and challenge for a slot in the Kenya team,” said Menjo.

“Kenya needs to reclaim its glory from Ethiopia and Uganda in the distance races and experience will be a weapon,” he said.

Head coach Julius Kirwa believes Kenya will need a blend of young and experienced runners in the 5,000 and 10,000m races to stop the Ethiopians.

“The tide has been to the Ethiopian favor of late. But we are back to the drawing board after the Commonwealth Games and we hope it will bear fruits in the Africa Championships,” said Kirwa Saturday from Eldoret.

In Japan, Menjo will face challenge from John Kiprono Langat, who brings a 27:58 lifetime best to the line set in 2015.

More recently he clocked 29:17 at home in Nyahururu. Another Kenyan, Victor Chumo, finished second at the Venloop Half Marathon in March, clocking 1:00:10.

However, Menjo, who is 38, is one of the fastest men ever over the distance, with a 27:04 lifetime best. That was in 2010. In January he clocked 28:28 in Valencia. The men’s course record stands at 28:35, set by Teshome Mekonen Asafah in 2014.

           

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