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Kamworor, Chelangat ready for battle in Police meeting

ATHLETICS By Dennis Okeyo | January 28th 2021
Senior women lead by Sheila Chelangat and Immaculate Anyango (left) during National Cross country championships at Ngong Racecourse ahead of Africa Cross country championships to be held in Togo. Feb 15, 2020. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Fit-again former World cross country champion Geoffrey Kamworor will be aiming for an eighth National Police cross country title as the red-hot Sheila Chelangat seeks to maintain her supremacy at the law enforcers meet tomorrow at Ngong Race Course.

Former World Half Marathon record holder Kamworor is back in shape after a motorbike accident in June last year left him with head and ankle injuries that saw him miss the World Half Marathon Championships, in a year shredded by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I’m fully recovered and ready to test my body as well as aim at winning my eighth National Police Cross Country title. The injuries and stoppages to various sporting activities including the New York Marathon and the World Half Marathon Championship where I was to compete means that the Friday meeting will be my first race after a long time,” said Kamworor.

Apart from Kamworor, Josephat Boit, Hosea Kimosop, Emmanuel Bett and Philemon ‘Baby Police’ Rono are among the men who will be eyeing the Police cross country title tomorrow.   

In the women's race, it is easy to hand out the favourite tag to the Kericho-based Chelangat, who is keen to use the Police meet as part of her preparations towards the World cross country championships in Bathurst, Australia in March and the Olympic Games in Tokyo later in July.

Senior men compete in the 10KM race during the East Africa Police Chief Championship at Kenyatta University on Wednesday, Aug 28, 2019. (Jonah Onyango, Standard)

“My desire will be to defend my National Police title on Friday and then win the National cross country title on February 13," said Chelangat.

"I had a very successful training session and winning my first cross country meet in Mosoriot in December gave me the confidence ahead of the busy season that includes World cross country in Australia and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which remain my priority,” added Chelangat, who is coached by Gabriel Kiptanui in Kericho.

Chelangat, 23, will have to contest the title against main challengers including world steeplechase record holder Beatrice Chepkoech, world 5000m silver medallist Margaret Chelimo, 2020 Police champion Sheila Chelangat and former champion Stacy Ndiwa, among others.

The Police championships will pave way for the National cross country championships-cum-trials on February 13, where a team to the World cross country, scheduled for Australia in March, will be picked.

Meanwhile, Athletics Kenya has changed the venue of the National cross country that was originally scheduled for Kisii. The championship will now be held at Nairobi’s Ngong Race Course.

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