‘Captain Fantastic’ Komon’s race targets are worlds apart

Tuesday March 14 2017

Kenya's Cross Country and relay team captain Leonard Komon during training on March 3, 2017. PHOTO | CHARLES WANYORO |

Kenya's Cross Country and relay team captain Leonard Komon during training on March 3, 2017. PHOTO | CHARLES WANYORO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By CHARLES WANYORO
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Kenya national cross country team captain Leonard Patrick Komon hopes to kill two birds with one stone at the world championships in Kampala next weekend.

Komon, who will be making the sixth appearance in a world event since the 2010 World Cross Country Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, is also set to compete in the Prague Half Marathon in the Czech Republic on April 1.

And this will be no April Fool’s Day joke as Komon is already a legend on the road with world records over the 10 and 15 kilometres. The March 26 World Cross Country Championships are just six days away from the Prague race, and temperatures on either side contrasting with Kampala expecting a high of 32 degrees Celsius and Prague on the other side of the thermometer at 10 degrees Celsius.

But the 29-year-old star is confident of having a good run at both competitions.

It will also be the sixth time that Komon will be competing in Uganda and he believes that he has now gaining enough experience in Kampala to add another individual and team medal.

After all, his home is just across the Ugandan border in the athletics-rich Mt Elgon region of Bungoma County.

His best individual outing in world cross country running are two silver medals, one in the junior race at the 2006 championships in Fukuoka, Japan, and the other in the senior race in Edinburgh two years later. He hopes to go one better in Kampala and get the coveted gold.

“The preparation that we have done is good and we will win. I believe it will be an easy run and we assure Kenyans of a win. We have trained well. I will be going to Kampala for the sixth time and I believe I will perform well,” said the veteran with 11 years experience.

The road race king revealed that he is planning to transition into marathon full time and will be using the Kampala cross country as a stepping stone as he makes the transition.

“I’m happy to be back in the world cross country team after a six-year break. It will make me to be in great shape as I transition to marathon. I’m dedicating my future to competing in marathons,” said Komon after Tuesdday’s morning run. Komon also dares anyone who is raring to break his two seven-year-old records and is confident that the two will take a long time to tumble.

The 10-kilometre record stands at 26 minutes and 44 seconds, set in Utrech, Netherlands, in September, 2010, while the 15-kilometre one was set at 41.13, also in the Dutch city of Nijmegen two months later in November.

“The hardest would be the 10km but the 15km can fall at any time. For now there is no-one who has attempted to break the records. No one has produced good time to break them. It would have been easy for me to make an assessment if there was anyone making an attempt,” he said.