As Meru hosted the third meeting of the six-round Athletics Kenya cross country series at the weekend, the country’s elite runners gave the competition a wide berth despite a warning from officials that the meets would count towards national team selection for the world championships in Jordan.
At the first meeting in Machakos last month, Athletics Kenya secretary, David Okeyo, said for consideration to the national team to the global championships in Amman next March, athletes must compete in at least four of the six meets that build up towards the national championships and trials.
But rather than travel to Meru, most of the stars were in their backyard for the Tuskys Wareng meeting in Eldoret that saw former world silver medallist in the 12km race, Moses Mosop of Nandi, winning the third edition of the race.
The field included former national cross-country champion Hosea Macharinyang, who came third, with Mosop timed at 36 minutes, 34.6 seconds.
Mosop, though, said he was ready for selection to the Kenyan team despite failing to show up at the AK races, a decision that will definitely rub AK officials the wrong way.
Bringing peace in town
“I’m preparing well and I hope that I will be on form until the world championships are held,” Mosop, who broke-off halfway in the race, said.
Hellen Kiprop of Marakwet won the senior women’s race in 28:33.8 while Linet Chepkurui came second in a time of 28:35.8.
Joseph Bett and Mercy Cherono, the world 3,000m junior champion, won the junior races.
Organiser and former world steeplechase record holder, Moses Kiptanui, said the races were held at the grounds where some internal refugees are camping with a view to bringing peace in the town.
There were more Kenyans on the international circuit as senior women’s world bronze medallist, Linet Masai, started her campaign for the season on a winning note as she won the 25th ‘Cross Internacional Valle de Llodio’ in Spain, while Ethiopia’s Tariku Bekele won the men’s race in a cold and rainy day.