The International Association of Athletics Federations World Cross Country champion Geoffrey Kamworor and Indoor specialist Augustin Choge lead strong Kenya Police Service team to the Athletics Kenya National Cross Country Championship cum trials contest set for Saturday at Uhuru Gardens.
Police which constitute the creme-de-la-creme of the Kenya’s runners will be defending their national title despite the expected tough competition from perennial rivals Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), the Kenya Prisons Service and Nairobi Branch which will be fielding the reigning Africa cross country champion James Rungaru. The police team also includes James Kitum and Emmanuel Bett.
The 24-year old Kamworor who missed out the National Police Service Cross Country Championships last month has shown the intention to defend his IAAF World Cross Country title in Kampala on March 26.
Kamworor, also the World Half Marathon reigning champion has not competed since last year’s Rio de Janeiro summer Olympics due to illness since the beginning of the season and indicated he will not be involved in road and marathon races this season.
“I have been unwell, I was also involved in road accident that forced me to be out for close to two months. I’m happy to be okay now, I’m back to full training in Kaptagat. I will be defending my national title at Uhuru Garden on Saturday then focus again at defending my world cross country crown next month” Kamworor told the FeverPitch through a phone interview.
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He added: “My plan for the season is not to be in involved in road races but concentrate on tracks and prepare for IAAF World Championship later in the year in London”
Kenya police athletics chairman Joseph Kiget disclosed that entry of former world indoor champion Augustin Choge is major boast as his team prepares to gun down rivals at the national.
The 30-year old Choge who has now switched to road and marathon won the Kenya Police cross country meeting last month.
“The preparation is in top gear and the presence of Choge gives us a major boast. We know our opponents have prepared well but we are ready for the challenge ahead, we expect our team members to make the bulk of team to Kampala,” Kiget disclosed yesterday.
In the absences of 10,000m specialist Vivian Cheruiyot who has shifted to marathon competitions, police will be depending on the 2012 World Half Marathon bronze medalist Pascalia Chepkorir, African Games 5,000m champion Margaret Chelimo among others in the women race.
The duo expect fireworks performance from Kenya Prisons’ and Africa Cross Country champion Alice Aprot, Caroline Chepkoech who won the police meeting as a guest runner and crowd darling Faith Chepngetich of North Rift.