Kipsang fires warning shots at KDF rivals

Tuesday January 9 2018

Emmanuel Kipsang in a past training session at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani in Nairobi. Kipsang has vowed to successfully defend his Kenya Defence Forces Cross Country Championships senior men’s 10km title on January 12, 2017 at Moi Air Base in Nairobi. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Emmanuel Kipsang in a past training session at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani in Nairobi. Kipsang has vowed to successfully defend his Kenya Defence Forces Cross Country Championships senior men’s 10km title on January 12, 2017 at Moi Air Base in Nairobi. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By BERNARD ROTICH
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Last year’s Kenya Defence Forces Cross Country Championships senior men’s 10km winners Emmanuel Kipsang has vowed to floor all again when the national military hold their annual event on Friday.

The eagerly anticipated championship will be staged at Moi Air Base (MAB) in Nairobi.

Kipsang, who won last year at Thika Garrison, is already playing the psychological game saying that he had prepared well and is in excellent shape.

“I have really trained well and simply want to retain my title. Today (Monday). I have done my last long run and now is just a matter of nursing and tuning the body for the big day on Friday,” said Kipsang.

The fired-up Kipsang revealed that he had however had some difficulties last season that effected his performance that year.

“Last year after winning in Thika, I got an injury which forced me out of competition the whole season. I’m now in good form and my competitors better watch out.”

Kispang said he was focused on getting selected to the Kenyan team for the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships that will be held in Valencia in March.

Kipsang is also looking forward to representing the country in the Commonwealth Games 10,000m.

For all is bravado, the real test will surely come on Friday when he faces off with some of Kenya’s best cross country runners.

In that elite list include John Elimlim, Kennedy Njiru, Victor Kiplimo, Peter Matelong, Cyrus Rutto, Mark Kiptoo and Isaac Kurga.

“I will be waiting to see if I will be named in the team that will be heading to the IAAF World Half marathon Championships in Valencia and the Commonwealth Games where I want to participate in the 10,000m race,” said the athlete.

Senior women’s 10km will certainly by a race to watch particularly if 5,000m world champion Hellen Obiri decides to defend her Forces title.

Other athletes who are expected in the event are Linet Jepkurui, Agnes Mulee, Tabitha Mongina, Mercy Njoroge, Viola Yator, Peninah Arusei, Doris Changeiywo among others.

According to the Athletics Kenya Defence Forces (AKDF) Major David Marigat, preparations for the championships are complete.

“We expect to select a strong team that will represent the force in the National Cross Country Championships-cum-trials next month,” said Marigat.