Kamworor, Karoki clash looms

Wednesday January 27 2016

STEELY FOCUS: Geoffrey Kamworor trains in Kaptagat, Elgeyo-Marakwet County on January 13, 2016. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA |

STEELY FOCUS: Geoffrey Kamworor trains in Kaptagat, Elgeyo-Marakwet County on January 13, 2016. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By AYUMBA AYODI
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Geoffrey Kamworor and Bedan Karoki, renew their rivalry at the Discovery Kenya Cross Country on Sunday at Eldoret Golf Club course.

The athletes met in last year’s National Cross Country Championships where Karoki retained the title with Kamworor finishing second to set the stage for the World Cross in Guiyang, Chine.

Kamworor turned tables on the Japan-based Karoki, leading him to a Kenya a 1-2 finish in Guiyang.

They duo returned to China for the Beijing World Championships last year where Kamworor took silver as Karoki finished fourth.

Kamworor, who retained Kenya Police Service Cross title two weeks ago at Ngong Racecourse, and Karoki, will face off again at the National Cross Country Championships due on February 13 at Uhuru Gardens.

Karoki had earlier indicated that he would not be going for his third consecutive National Cross title opting for the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Half Marathon on February 13 in United Arab Emirates, but he has since rescinded the decision, paving way for another pulsating clash with Kamworor.

Kamworor and Karoki have expressed their desire to represent Kenya at the World Half Marathon championships planned for March 26 in Cardiff, Wales. Kamworor is the defending champion.

“It will be a fascinating battle again and I hope to edge out my good friend Kamworor both at Discovery and Nationals,” said Karoki. “I hope we shall again form the explosive partnership at the World Half Marathon if selected.”

Athletics Kenya is due to name the team for the Word Half Marathon on Thursday.

“I had a good season in 2015 but I look forward to a more eventful 2016. Defending my World Half Marathon title should set the stage for the Olympics,” said Kamworor.

Kamworor and Karoki are part of a rich field that will descend on Eldoret Golf Club course for the Discovery race, a day after AK Regional Cross Country Championships.

Defending champion Peter Emase, world 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop, who is also the 2007 World Cross Junior champion and 2007 World Cross junior bronze medallist Matthew Kisorio will also be in this explosive 8km race mix that marks the event’s Silver Jubilee.

World Cross Country champion Agnes Tirop, the 2012 London Olympics silver medallist Priscah Jeptoo and 2015-2016 Athletics Kenya Cross Series junior champion Sandra Chebet will battle in women’s 6km race.

“We have reduced the distances for the senior men and women categories. Instead of running 12 kilometres and 8 kilometres, the men will do 8km while women will cover 6km,” said race director David Letting.

The annual meet, started in 1991, will have 10 unique participating classifications starting with boys and girls aged below six years who will run 300 metres.

The Discovery event that also include a 21 kilometres race, has contributed to the rich production line in the region.