Geoffrey Kamworor competes in the 10km Women category at the National Police Service Cross Country Championship last year. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Three-time World Cross Country champion Geoffrey Kamworor is yet to make up his mind on the races he will line up in next year.

Kamworor, who is in a tentative list of a marathon team for next year’s Paris Olympics, said he was still managing an injury, and was unsure whether he would compete this season.

The pelvic stress injury ruled Kamworor out of the 2023 New York City Marathon on November 5, where he was eying a third title.

The 31-year-old athlete said he was hopeful of a return when he recovers fully from the nagging injury.

“I am not in a position, at this point, to tell the race I would be taking part in next year because I have just come from an injury and I am still treating the injury,” Kamworor, who graced Ngelel-Tarit cross country on Tuesday said.

The two-time New York City Marathon winner (2017 and 2019) said he had not pulled out of training despite the injury but maintained that lining up in races was still not possible until advised otherwise by his doctors and management.

“I don’t know what race I will be taking part in the coming because I am still managing the injury, although still focused on my training,” he said.

Apart from targeting a third win, Kamworor hoped to use the 2023 New York City Marathon to position himself as one of the top contenders in the campaign to add an Olympic medal to his already decorated wall cabinet.

His impressive CV places him among top Kenyan long distance athletes.

Kamworor has three World Half Marathon titles to his name.

However, injuries have disrupted his plans since June 2020 when he sustained injuries to his head and ankle following a motorcycle accident during a morning run. He successfully managed the injury after a surgical operation.

A few weeks to this year’s New York City Marathon, the pelvic stress injury turned out to be the latest setback.

He finished second behind marathon world record-breaker Kelvin Kiptum at the 2024 London Marathon in April.

Kamworor recorded his 2:04:23 personal best in the marathon at the London Marathon.

He had opened the season with a fourth place at the World Cross-Country Championships in Bathurst, Australia earlier this year. Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo took the title.

On Tuesday, he encouraged budding athletics talents to take cross country competitions seriously, for their build-up ahead of the track season.

“When I watch upcoming athletes taking part in cross country, it becomes apparent that we continue producing talents that will replace those who are retiring soon,” said Kamworor.

He went ahead to say: “I am urging budding athletes to take cross country seriously because it offers opportunities for buildup ahead of the track season.”

“It is important for them (upcoming athletes) to particularly set their focus on the 2024 World Cross Country Championships.”

The 2024 World Cross Country Championships will be staged on March 30, 2024, at the Park of Friendship, next to the Danube River in Belgrade, Serbia.

Athletics coach Richard Metto, who is the Ngelel-Tarit kids and elderly race said he was impressed by emerging stars shining during the ongoing cross country contests.

“Most of the athletes who are taking part in cross country races have the potential to compete at the World Cross Country Championships,” Metto said.

Berlin Half Marathon second-runner-up Bravin Kiprop and Marion Jepngetich were crowned winners of Ngelel-Tarit cross country contest.

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