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World Cross Country competition renamed Agnes Tirop Memorial

ATHLETICS By Stephen Rutto | November 17th 2021
The late Agnes Tirop, former 500m World bronze medalist who was found dead on Wednesday, October 13, 2021. [Internet]

The inaugural World Cross Country Tour set to take place in Eldoret next year has officially been renamed to Agnes Tirop Memorial World Cross Country Tour in honour of the slain athlete.

Yesterday, the Local Organising Committee led by its chairman Paul Mutwii and a technical team from Golazo Sports assessed the course at the Lobo Village in Eldoret.

With a draft design of the course map, the technical team toured almost all parts of the World Cross Country Tour venue, proposing adjustments.

They were guided by legendary athlete Ibrahim Hussein, who recently returned from New York where he had been inducted into the 2021 New York Road Runners Hall of Fame for being the first Kenyan to win NYC marathon in 1987. Hussein is also part of the technical team in the LOC.

According to the technical team, the venue will be modelled to a festival ground with a section where traditional music and dancing will be happening during the entire race day on February 12, 2022.

There was also a proposal for cross country runners to race on a floating bridge across a recreational pool at the Lobo Village, but the idea proposed by the Golazo technical team awaits approval.

“We sat as AK and we decided to name this event after one of the successful athletes in cross country who we unfortunately lost last month. So, the World Cross Country Tour will be named Agnes Tirop Memorial Cross Country Tour,” Mutwii said. The athlete was found dead in her house in Iten on October 13, 2021.

He added: “Just like we named the Kenyan leg of the annual Continental Tour, Kip Keino Classic, we have decided to honor the late Tirop in this upcoming event.”

World Athletics had named it World Cross Country Classic, Eldoret.

Mutwii said the team was having a feel of the course while assessing the progress in preparation.

He said the national cross country championships that will be staged at the same venue in January will be used as a test run for the global event.

 “The national cross country championships will also be used to select a team that will compete at the World Cross Country Tour,” he said.

He described the upcoming race as the first big event to have ever happened in Africa.

“Kenya was selected to host this event because the country has produced cross country world beaters for many years. We in AK sat down and decided to take it to where most of our athletes come from and that is Eldoret,” Mutwii said.

AK president Jackson Tuwei had said on Saturday that the final draft of the course will be ready within two weeks.

The team had held a meeting with Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago yesterday morning before spending several hours at the course located 8km from Eldoret Central Business District.

Mandago said they are ready to host the event which will put Eldoret on the global map.

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