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All set for Kericho cross country races

Kericho town will come alive on October 22, when seasoned and budding senior athletes from the region are set to compete for top honors during the Athletics Kenya (AK) county cross-country races to be held at the Kericho Teachers Training College (KTTC).

The Kericho County cross country games sponsored by Betika will be the first Athletics Kenya (AK), Kericho branch meeting, where 10km and mixed relay competitions will be featured.

The races will see both men and women athletes above 18 years from the six sub-counties in the area coming to prove their worth and hone their skills in the two disciplines.

In an interview with KNA during a training session at Gariette Athletes training camp in Kericho, AK Kericho County First Vice Chairman Gabriel Kiptanui expressed confidence that the athletes will post excellent results as they had demonstrated commitment and discipline in their trainings.

“The senior seasoned and upcoming athletes are preparing well for the county cross country competitions and I am positive they will post excellent results as they have been posting personal best times during the Regional Cross-country race, the national cross country championships and the South Rift Regional Track and Field athletics championships,” said Kiptanui.

2017 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World U18 Champion Caren Chebet, 22, who competes both internationally and locally for Kenya said she was confident in winning in her exemplary performance in the Africa Senior championships held in Reduit Mauritius in June, where she brought home a bronze medal after she emerged third in the 3000m steeplechase race.

“I emerged position three in the Africa Senior championships held in Reduit, Mauritius in June with my personal best time of 8:8.0 and I am optimistic I will win in the 10km race. I really thank Coach Gabriel for my excellent performances both in local and international competitions,” said Chebet.

In an interview with a Kericho budding athlete 1,500m athlete Faith Chepkoech, 18, she said emerged position one in the 10km road race Kisumu heart and cancer marathon held last week, with a personal best time of 34:10 and was aiming to be among the top three in the county cross country games.

“I started training in 2018 and I am being guided by coach Gabriel. During the national cross- country championships held in Eldoret in January I emerged fourth, whereas in the 6km regional cross-country race held in the same month with a personal best time of 19:23. In the 10km Kisumu heart and cancer marathon held last week, I emerged winner with a personal best time of 34:10. I t will be my first time to race in the 10km but I am hopeful of doing well,” said Chepkoech.

Kiptanui who doubles up as an athletics coach and trains more than 50 athletes and some in his stable include; Africa Junior Women 2016 cross-country champion Miriam Cherop, silver medalist 2019 World U20 in Tampere Finland Kipngetich Ngeno, 2013 World under 18 1,500m steeplechase gold medalist Robert Biwott, Mercy Cherono who broke the World Youth record in women’s 3000m in 2007 in Ostrava, Czech Republic, and the reigning world 3,000 steeplechase champion Beatrice Chepkoech.

Betika is Kenya’s leading sport betting company in Kenya, with operations in nine countries in Africa and its headquarters in Nairobi.

By Sarah Njagi

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