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Karoki puts rivals on notice ahead of national cross country

ATHLETICS By Dennis Okeyo | February 11th 2021
Japan based Bedan Karoki speaks to the media after winning central region cross country race in Ol Kalou yesterday. Athletes from Nyandarua county dominated the race [PHOTO COURTESY]

Former world cross country silver medallist Bedan Karoki has fired a warning shot to other athletes ahead of Saturday’s national cross-country championships at Ngong Race Course.

Officials will use the event to pick team to the Africa cross country championships scheduled for March 6-7 in Lome, Togo. 

The 2020 African cross-country championships were originally scheduled for March 1, 2020 in Lome, but was postponed because Togo were holding their presidential elections at that time.

The Japan-based Karoki, who arrived in the country three weeks ago, destroyed at Central Region cross country meeting last weekend in Ol Kalou town, Nyandarua clocking 29:45.1.

And with that triumph, he declared himself ready to face-off with his opponents from Kenya Defence Forces, National Police Service, Kenya Prisons Service and the expansive athletics-rich Rift Valley region.

“I had come back to put final touches in preparation for the RAK Half Marathon that was unfortunately cancelled. I’m in good shape, mentally stronger and ready to compete at the National cross-country championships on Saturday.

Karoki last won the national title in 2014 when he out-sprinted Leonard Barsoton at the home stretch.

He is listed as reserve for men’s marathon team that consists of world men’s marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge, Lawrence Cherono, a two-time Amsterdam Marathon champion and world bronze medallist Amos Kipruto.

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“My aim this year is to qualify for the Olympics in 10,000m. I really want an Olympic title. I have been to two Olympics but did not win a medal. I hope my dream of an Olympic medal will be fulfilled this year,” he said.

The Central Region men’s 10km team will also have Paul Mutero, Moses Koech, Ronald Kirui, Emmanuel Kip, Emmanuel Kiboi, while Monica Ngige will be lead women’s 10km team alongside Mary Nyaruai, Veronicah Maina, Joyce Njeru, Beatrice Cheboi and Lydia Njeri.

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