Friday, March 14, 2014

‘Usual suspects’ all out to extend their good run

Chris Omollo | Nation Faith Chepngetich of South Rift leads Jemimah Chelagat of Kenya Defence Forces during the National Cross Country Championships 8km senior women’s race at Uhuru Gardens February 15. Chepngetich is part of the Kenyan team to the Africa Cross Country championships in Kampala, Uganda. 

By AYUMBA AYODI
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Team manager Francis Afundi believes Kenya can stage a clean sweep at the Africa Cross Country Championships on Sunday Kampala.

Afundi said the mood in camp is encouraging and that the youthful athletes are eager to make an impression.

“I thank God we’ve not had major hiccups,” he said as the team left for Kampala on Friday. ”We hope to make a repeat of the 2011 inaugural event where we won both the individual and team titles.” Team captain Leonard Barsaton echoed similar sentiments while emphasising the need for team work.

“We have very enterprising team and I urge my colleagues is to give their best,” said Barsaton, who will lead the charge in senior men’s 12km race.

Barsaton, who won silver in junior race at the 2013 World Cross Country in Poland, finished second behind Bedan Karoki during the National Championships in Nairobi.

“Personally, I feel humbled to lead such a good team to Kampala. The onus is now on me and it feels great. I now have to lead from the front,” said Japan-based Barsaton.

Maiden title

Deputy captain Faith Chepng’etich said after winning her maiden title as a senior at the nationals, it is time to affirm her status on the international stage. “I am good to go and Kampala here we come,” said Chepng’tich, who won the World Cross junior titles in 2011 and 2013.

The 2013 World Cross junior silver medallist Agnes Chebet and Moses Mukono are eyeing both junior individual and team titles. Barsaton settled for silver as a junior at the nationals last year before claiming similar results at the Worlds in Poland.

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