Tergat warns Team Kenya for Kampala WXC against complaceny

Patrice Mboma (L), the former Cameroonian football striker and the all-time top goal-scorer for his ...
Patrice Mboma (L), the former Cameroonian football striker and the all-time top goal-scorer for his national team with Sports personality of the year award (SOYA) founder Paul Tergat leave KICC after addressing a SOYA press conference on January 14, 2016. Photo/ Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com

Legendary athlete Paul Tergat has warned Team Kenya to avoid complacency as the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, Uganda beckons.

Tergat, a five-time world cross champion, advised his compatriots to stay hydrated in anticipation of the intensely hot and humid weather expected at the Ugandan capital.

“What I would advise them is to always ensure they’re the front-runners because the more you stay behind the more energy you will need to keep with the rest. Other countries have prepared very much for this one-day event and beating Kenya will mean much more than winning a title for them.

“It’s not easy because I remember during my time when I won the title five times in a row it was never a walk in the park. It took many months and even years of hard work.

“We cannot afford to underrate our neighbors from East Africa and others.  It’s a global championship that needs to be treated with the kind of seriousness we’ve shown throughout the years,” Tergat told Citizen Digital.

Tergat who is also the Championship Ambassador visited the course last month during his legacy tour where he tested the course. He disclosed that course was unique and quite different from the one he last ran at close to two decades ago in Belfast, United Kingdom in 1999.

“This is a world-class course and it’s not going to be easy even though it’s a two-loop course. It’s a man-made so it has improvised obstacles,” Tergat, a former world marathon record holder observed.

“Things have really evolved very much during our time it was two loop of six kilometers each totaling to 12 km. Now it 10km and very fast while that of women has been raised from 8 to 10km. The mix relay was made to make the cross-country more interesting and fun to attract more nations for the event,” he added.

The course is located at the iconic Kololo Independence Grounds, approximately three kilometers from the City Center.

It hosted the 2014 African Cross Country Championships and, more recently, the Ugandan Cross Country Championships in January.

The two-kilometer loop is mostly covered in grass and has an average elevation of about seven meters. In addition to the two natural hills, a man-made hill, a ditch and other obstacles have been added to make the course more challenging.

The U20 women’s race is made up of three laps, while the U20 men’s race will be held over four laps. Both of the senior races comprise five laps.

Runners in the mixed relay will complete one lap each for a total of four laps per team.

Kenya will be sending a contingent of 30 athletes where they will compete against 527 athletes from other nations including the Refugee Team who will be making their debut at the championships for the eight medals on offer.

Tergat also insisted that for the country to win the team titles they must relay on teamwork to continue Kenya’s dominance.

Usually in all cross-country races, IAAF member federations may enter a maximum of eight athletes, but not more than six shall be allowed to start in each race with four to score.

The team results are decided by the aggregate of places recorded by the scoring athletes of each team. The team with the lowest aggregate of points will be judged the winner.

If a team fails to finish with a complete scoring team, the runners finishing shall be counted as individuals in the race result and be eligible for the individual prize money (senior races only).

In assessing the aggregate, no adjustment to the scoring of the finishing teams shall be made in respect of any non-scoring team runners or of individual entries.

In the event of a tie, it shall be resolved in favour of the team whose last scoring member finishes nearer to first place.

Further background information and complete coverage of the championships, including entry lists, previews, biographies, reports and results, can be found on our dedicated


Senior men: Leonard Barsoton, Nicholas Kosimbei, Geoffrey Kamworor, Vincent Rono, Leonard Komon, Leonard Lagat

Senior women: Irene Cheptai, Lilian Kasait, Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon, Alice Aprot, Agnes Tirop, Hyvin Kiyeng

U-20 men: Richard Yator, Meshack Kyuguti, Wesley Ladema, Edwin Kiplagat, Amos Kirui, Ronald Kirui

U20 women: Sandrafelis Chebet, Cellephine Chepteek, Sheila Chelangat, Emmaculate Chepkirui, Joyline Cherotich, Esther Muthoni

Mixed relay: Asbel Kiprop, Margaret Nyairera, Bernard Kipkorir,       Beatrice Chepkemoi

-Material sourced from the iaaf.org was used to compile this report.

For Citizen TV updates
Join @citizentvke Telegram channel

Video Of The Day: MPs want Iran envoy to stop meddling on terror cases

Story By Charity Wanja
More by this author