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Chebet to light up Nairobi meet

ATHLETICS By Dennis Okeyo and Agencies | January 31st 2020 | 3 min read
Beatrice Chebet winning kenya's first gold women's 5000m at World Under-20 in tampere, Finland. [Courtesy]

World under-20 5000m champion Beatrice Chebet will be the star attraction at the Nairobi region cross country championships at Posta ground tomorrow.

The Londiani-based Chebet, who is also the world under-20 cross country champion, eyes a slot to the national cross country championships set for Uhuru Gardens on February 8, where Athletics Kenya will pick a team to Africa cross country championships that run in Lome, Togo, on April 8.

Chebet finished second at the Juan Muguerza International cross country meeting in Spain two weeks ago, a race won by world cross country champion Hellen Obiri.

World under-18 2000m steeplechase champion Mercy Chepkorir, who topped Central region 10okm race last weekend, is another star to watch.

Nairobi region has always produced some best athletes in the junior ranks and tradition is likely to continue as some of the junior stars are lined up for the competition.

They include Anne Naasisho, Sharon Chepkemei, Diana Chepkorir, Teresa Cherotich, Isca Chelangat, and Magdaline Cherono.

Naasisho, a Form Two Student at Savame Secondary School in Rift Valley is the national secondary school 3000m champion and longs for a spot in the national trials.

Barnaba Korir, AK Nairobi region chairman, said they expect to select a strong team.

“Technical officials have finalised preparations. We hope to name a strong team especially the juniors because that is where our strength is.

“We expect hundreds of runners to turn up for these champions especially those who did not participate in the other regional meetings,” said Korir.

Meanwhile, the fear of Coronavirus in China has forced the organisers of the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Nanjing which was scheduled for March 13-15 to postpone the event to March 2021.

In a statement, World Athletics said: “We know that China is doing all it can to contain the new Coronavirus and we support them in all their efforts but it is necessary to provide our athletes, member federations and partners with a clear way forward in what is a complex and fast-moving set of circumstances.

World Athletics went on: “The advice from our medical team, who are in contact with the World Health Organisation, is that the spread of the Coronavirus both within China and outside the country is still at a concerning level and no one should be going ahead with any major gathering that can be postponed.

“The indoor season for athletics falls within a narrow calendar window (up to the end of March) and we believe we will be able to find a suitable date in 2021 to host this event.

“We would like Nanjing to be the host given the extensive planning and preparation they have put into this event.”

“We have chosen not to cancel the championships as many of our athletes would like this event to take place so we will now work with our athletes, our partners, and the Nanjing organising committee to secure a date in 2021 to stage this event.”

The 17th IAAF World Indoor Championships was held from 1-4 March 2018 in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

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