Kenya ready to conquer Africa one more time: Barkach, Ndiwa lead legion to Algeria

By DENNIS OKEYO: Tuesday, March 13th 2018 at 00:09 GMT +3 | Athletics
2018 cross country From left: Perin Nenkempi, Stacy Ndiwa and Sandra Felis Chebet competes during the 2018 National Cross Country Championships at Uhuru Gardens. [Dennis Okeyo, Standard]

Team out to seek podium sweep in continental cross country meeting.

Kenyan athletes depart today for the fifth edition of the African cross-country championships set for Chlef, Algeria, on Saturday.

Alfred Barkach and fifth-place finisher at the 2015 World Cross Country, Stacy Ndiwa, lead the Kenyans in search for glory in the absence of defending champions James Rungaru and Alice Aprot.

The squad has been camping in Kigari, Embu, for the past three weeks and head coach John Kimetto has expressed hopes for a good show.

“Technically, the team is in great shape. Our training has been superb. We are ready for battle in Algeria,” said Kimetto.

Barkach, who finished second behind two-time World Cross Country champion Geoffrey Kamworor in men’s 10km, will be joined by Julius Kogo, Emmanuel Bor, Macharia Ndirangu, John Chepkwony and Josphat Bett.

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A mixture of young and experienced runners dominate the senior 10km women squad. Apart from Ndiwa, the team also has World Under-20 steeplechase world record holder Celiphine Chespol, Felis Chebet, Margaret Chelimo, Kenya Defend Force’s Perin Nenkampi and Rosemery Njeri.

Mirriam Cherop, the Africa Junior Cross Country defending champion, will be seeking to defend her title.