By AYUMBA AYODI
World 5,000m bronze medallist Isaiah Koech Kiplangat will highlight the senior men’s 12km race as the 2014/2015 Athletics Kenya Cross Country Series begin in Nairobi on Saturday.
Kiplangat, the 2009 World Youth 3,000m champion and the 2014 Commonwealth Games 5,000m silver medallist, will face-off with Emmanuel Bett, who hopes to graduate to senior level in style after finishing second in the junior race last year.
Also set to battle for top honours is the 2008 World Junior 10,000m champion Josphat Bett while Alfred Lorot, who finished second in junior race at the Africa Cross Country Championships in Kampala in March, will highlight his category’s battle.
AK Nairobi region chairman Barnabas Korir said preparations for the race are complete with some of the established and upcoming athletes set to battle out for top honours.
He said most of Kenya’s top athletes will be in Nairobi to test their muscles ahead of the grueling season ahead.
“With the World Cross Country due for next year in China, a quality field is expected,” said Korir, adding that the first race, the junior women’s 6km race, will kick off the proceedings at 8.30am.
Last year, little-known Silas Kimutai and the 2006 World Junior 5000m silver medallist Mary Wacera reigned supreme to win the senior men’s and women’s races.
The 2013 World Cross Country junior women’s silver medallist Agnes Jebet swept to victory in a gun-to-tape show in junior women’s 6km race while Nyahururu’s James Mwangi waited until the last 400m before bursting from the pack of four to claim junior men’s 8km title.
The first two events in the Series, the Nairobi and Kapsokwony legs, will be sponsored by Athletics Kenya but the next four events that have been graded as Premium races have full sponsorship from Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) among others.
Courtesy of nation.co.ke