Karoki hoping to make Team Kenya to Wales

Thursday January 7 2016

Bedan Karoki Muchiri of Kenya celebrates after winning silver in 10,000m  during the All Africa Games at the Estádio Nacional in Maputo on 12 September 2011. Karoki has set sight on World Half Marathon title. PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Bedan Karoki Muchiri of Kenya celebrates after winning silver in 10,000m during the All Africa Games at the Estádio Nacional in Maputo on 12 September 2011. Karoki has set sight on World Half Marathon title. PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

By AYUMBA AYODI
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World Cross Country silver medallist Bedan Karoki wants to represent Kenya at the World Half Marathon in Cardiff, Wales on March 26.

Karoki said Kenya needs a strong team to retain the individual title and recapture the team title it relinquished to Eriteria in 2014.

The 25-year-old athlete from Nyahururu believes if he combines efforts with defending champion Geoffrey Kamworor, victory is inevitable.

“I believe there are other strong athletes who can form the team such as Abraham Cheroben, who has the fastest time of 59:10 from 2015,” said Karoki, who posted the second fastest time in 2015 of 59:14 in Copenhagen.

He added: “Our great team work at the World Cross and World Championships last year should do the trick in Cardiff.”

Kamworor, who has vowed to defend his title, called on Athletics Kenya to name a strong squad for the Wales’s battle.

He set a 59:08 course record when he won the title in March 2014.

INJECTED SPEED

Karoki injected speed at the World Cross in Guiyang, China, last March, but he eventually settled for silver as Kamworor clinched gold.

At the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, the 10,000m men’s team exhibited one of the best team work. Karoki paced the race but finished fourth, while Kamworor and Paul Tanui won silver and bronze, respectively.

Karoki has been outstanding since venturing into road running in 2014.

He won his first race, Lisbon Half Marathon, in 59 minutes and 58 seconds in March of that year, before reigning supreme at Gifu Half Marathon in 60:02 in May.

He would improve his personal best to 59.23 with victory at Philadelphia Half Marathon in September before focusing on World Cross and World Championships in 2015.

After finishing fourth in the 10,000m at the Worlds in Beijing, Karoki ran the second fastest time in half marathon last year when he won in Copenhagen with a personal best of 59:14 in August. He almost broke Kamworor’s course record.

Karoki said his first race this season will be the 25th Discovery Cross Country Championships in Eldoret on January 31,2016 before making his maiden appearance at Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon on February 13.