Team Kenya training for World Cross hits high gear in Embu


Two-time World Cross junior champion, Faith Chepng’etich leads Lilian Kasait (centre) and Alice Aprot ...
Two-time World Cross junior champion, Faith Chepng’etich leads Lilian Kasait (centre) and Alice Aprot during the senior women 10km race at the 2017 National Cross Country Championships at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi on February 18, 2017. The trio made the senior women squad for the 2017 IAAF World Cross in Kampala. Photo/Oliver Ananda/www.sportpicha.com

Team Kenya for the 2017 IAAF World Cross in Kampala, Uganda stepped up their training on Tuesday with coach Juma Ndiwa having the full squad at his disposal in Embu.

 

The 30-member squad that is camping at St. Mark’s Teachers Training College, Kigari has witnessed seasoned campaigners including those that starred at the 2015 World Cross in Guiyang, China giving the fresh faces in the team invaluable lessons on how to conquer the world on March 26.

Following world body IAAF to spice the World Cross with the introduction of the 4x2000m mixed relay, the number in camp has increased from 24 with former Olympics and three-time world men 1500m champion, Asbel Kiprop and Olympics women 800m bronze winner, Margaret Nyairera who will take part in the novel event also in camp.

Kiprop has made a nostalgic return to the team since it marks a decade since he was last at Kigari before he went on to be crowned the junior men 8km champion at the 2007 Mombasa World Cross.

According to Ndiwa, his team has the potential to perform even better since they have been exceptional in training so far and he is optimistic that they will continue with the same spirit.

Ndiwa says that the introduction of mixed relay at the World Cross is a new challenge that they will face but declared there was enough weapons in the Kenyan armoury to make history in Uganda as the first ever winners of the category.

The coach also added that they have had to change the training schedule and time so as to acclimatise and match the conditions in Kampala which happens to lie in a low altitude and the athletes are responding well.

Defending senior men champion Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor said the team was ready and all athletes will try their best to defend the titles they won in 2015 in China and recapture those lost to arch rivals Ethiopia.

Also in the team is women senior titleholder, Agnes Tirop, African women senior champion, Alice Aprot as well as Olympics women 1500m gold medallist and two-time World Cross junior winner, Faith Chepng’etich Kipyegon.

Chepng’etich is eyeing a first senior title after injury ruled her out of Guiyang a couple of years ago.

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