Commonwealth Games 5,000m champions Caleb Mwangangi and Mercy Cherono are now targeting World Cross Country and World Championships 5,000m titles next year.
Mwangangi is keen on continuing his blistering 2014 form, having won five major crowns this season. Cherono, who won World Cross junior title in 2010, now wants to ascend the senior throne.
It’s four years since Mwangangi gave Kenya a World Cross Junior title at the 2010 in Bydgoszcz, Poland, but if all goes well, he will have the senior men’s 12km World Cross Country title under his belt come March 28 in Guiyang, China.
However, Mwangangi will first have to earn his place in the World Championships team during the national trials of February 14 at Uhuru Gardens.
“Cross country is the next frontier for me. I intend to give it a shot next year and am discussing my strategy with my coach,” said Mwangangi. “I want to add a senior title to the junior world title that I already have.”
The 23-year-old said his World Cross Country quest will depend on how fast his Achilles tendon injury heals.
“I have a minor Achilles tendon injury and I have just started my build up with gym work and swimming drills,” said Mwangangi, who hopes to hit the track in next month.
Mwangangi, who is the World Indoor 3,000m champion, intends to compete in two indoor races early next year besides cross country races as he shapes up for the World Championships.
Mwangangi said next year is the season when he must give the world what it has eagerly waited for, a battle with World and Olympic 5,000m champion, Briton Mo Farah.
“I want to represent Kenya in the 5,000m race well at the World Championship. Mo is a great athlete but I believe I can beat him,” said Mwangangi, the 2014 Commonwealth Games and World Cup 5,000m champion.
Mwangangi, who capped his 2014 season by winning the Diamond League Series, wants to improve his personal best of 12:59.17 set at Stockholm on August 21, this year as well as attempt Two Miles World Record next year. Kenya’s Daniel Komen holds the Two Mile World record time of 7:58.61 set July 17, 1997 in Hechtel-Eksel, Belgium.
“It was a great season. I can’t complain because God has been faithful, giving me all the important wins,” said Mwangangi. “I now want to run a sub 12:50 in the New Year.”
The 2013 World Championships silver medallist Cherono says she won’t be playing bridesmaid in the New Year.
“I know Kenyans have high expectations in me after winning silver in Moscow and hence I will be under pressure to perform,” said Cherono, who won the Commonwealth Games title in Glasgow in July. Cherono also won her maiden Diamond League Series in 2014.
Cherono won the 2008 and 2010 World Junior 3,000m titles and added silver in 5,000m during the 2010 championships in Moncton, Canada. It’s in Moncton where she became the first woman to retain the 3,000m title.