By Joseph Ngure
Cross-country action moves to Machakos Teachers Training College tomorrow as the fight for the Kenya Commercial Bank Sh1.2 million jackpot shapes up.
The seven-meet series that started in Nyahururu last weekend, will see top class athletes from Eastern and Southern region gauge themselves ahead of the national trials in Nairobi on February 16 next year.
As opposed to the past where the Southern affiliate has been hosting the meeting in Tala, Kangundo, the Machakos College ground will offer a new course likely to excite the participants.
“We want as many athletes as possible particularly those from Eastern, Southern, Nairobi and the Coast to participate. This is their opportunity,” said Athletics Kenya Public Relation Officer Peter Ang’wenyi.
The official, who said the course is good, urged international runners to avail themselves and launch their bid for next year’s World Cross-country championships in Poland, as consistency will count during the selection.
Already, 28 athletes have entered the race for the jackpot after taking top positions in the opener at Nyahururu Sports Club.
Peter Matelong, the younger brother of steeplechaser Richard Matelong, head the 12km senior men alongside cross-country favourite Hosea Macharinyang’ and new cross entrant Isaac Korir.
The senior women’s 8km contestant, Poland 2010 World cross-country champion Emily Chebet, leads the pack after her maiden victory in the starter.?
Others with jackpot points include former junior champion Janet Kisa and 2012 winner Gladys Chemweno who finished second and third in Nyahururu respectively.
The usual rivalry will be witnessed in the junior events where St Patrick’s Iten student Moses Mukono and track star Sheila Chepng’etich are the front-runners.
New faces from the host region, also an athletics powerhouse for long distant athletes in the Southern, are going to enter the contest as the cross-country shifts gears.
The jackpot is awarded to the athlete who will have collected maximum number of points in at least four Kenya Commercial Bank-sponsored races spread across the country. Position one is awarded one point in every category per race, while number seven, the last to score, gets 7 points.
From Machakos, the next stop would be in Kisii in Nyanza South with the undulating Kisii Golf course being the venue for the third leg on November 17.
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Cross-country Kenya Commercial Bank Athletes