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Kenya seeks fifth overall Africa title today

Agness Chebet leads the pack in the 6km junior women during the National Cross Country Championship cum trials at Uhuru Gardens on 15-02-2014.Photo/DENNIS OKEYO

Kenyan charges will line up at the fifth Africa Cross Country championships in Chlef, Algeria, this afternoon.

After a good show at the Yaounde Golf Club in Cameroon two years ago, the national team is out to extend its dominance.

Kenya swept all medals on offer in junior and senior women’s races and won 1-2 men’s junior places before they settled on silver and bronze medals in senior races.

Head coach John Kimetto remained confident of a medal harvest despite erratic weather conditions in the north Africa nation.

While at the residential camp at St Marks Teacher’s Training College in Kigari, Embu, the team had to shuffle between training programme in the cold sections of the region to adapt to the 15 degrees in Chlef. That’s why they had to leave early to acclimatise.

“The team is well prepared now. We used to train at 1 pm but when we realised the sudden change in weather here, we opted to adjust our training time to adapt to Chlef.  We trained at 4am and 5pm in the evening,” Kimetto said.  “We are ready to to win medals. I am certain.”

Stacy Ndiwa leads the senior women team alongside Celiphine Chespol, Felis Chebet and Margaret Chelimo, KDF’s Perin Nenkampi and Rosemery Njeri while the men team has Alfred Barkech, Julius Kogo, experienced Emmanuel Bor, Macharia Ndirangu, John Chepkwony and Josphat Bett. In the under-20, Mirriam Cherop, the Junior Cross Country defending champion will be seeking to defend her title against an expectant opposition from Ethiopia and Uganda.