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Fast rising Kite eager to ruffle established order

Sunday February 17 2019

Gloria Kite (right) and Rhonex Kipruto train in Iten, Elgeyo-Marakwet County on February 16, 2019 ahead of the National Cross Country Championships slated for February 23 at Eldoret Sports Club in Uasin Gishu County. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA |

Gloria Kite (right) and Rhonex Kipruto train in Iten, Elgeyo-Marakwet County on February 16, 2019 ahead of the National Cross Country Championships slated for February 23 at Eldoret Sports Club in Uasin Gishu County. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

BERNARD ROTICH
By BERNARD ROTICH
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Up and coming Gloria Kite is relishing the prospect of taking on the old guards to fight for a place in Kenya's World Cross Country Championships team.

The 20--year-old cannot wait for the National Cross Country Championships due on Saturday at Eldoret Sports Club in Eldoret.

After finishing third at the North Rift Athletics Kenya Regional Cross Country Championships in Maralal, Kite reveals she will be ready to fight for a place in the national team come Saturday after intense training in Iten.

She finished second in the Valencia 10km road race last month to underline her growing form.
She also participated in the Gutaperca Cross Country Championships 8km race in Spain placing fourth before winning the Soria Cross Country 8km category.

Early in the year she managed third spot in the Mulini Cross Country6km race in Italy.

Looking at her progression it is small wonder she believes that the races have given her the best preparations, both physically and psychologically to take on Kenya's best righ at the heart of cross country country.

"If you look at the start list, the athletes who will be participating are very good -- world beaters. I have worked very hard, very intent on making the team," Kite declared.

To add some edge to her game, Kite has been training with the World Under-20 10,000m champion Rhonex Kipruto, a hot prospect to win the Kenyan championship.

“We have been training hard with Kipruto and other men in our group and I can tell you the pace they use has pushed me so hard I believe I can endure any pressure my rivals will exert on Saturday. I am ready," she said.

The race according to Kite will be competitive and new names will feature because everyone wants to get a slot in the national team that will represent the country in the World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark.

"The old guards should be wary," she simply said.

Kite will team up with others runners from North Rift region including Brilliant Jepkorir, Vicoty Chepngeno, Monica Chirchir, Gladys Chepkurui and Dorcas Kipchirchir.

Kite participated in the Africa Cross Country Championships in 2016 where she emerged second in the junior category behind her compatriot Miriam Cherop.

They will face stiff competition from Beatrice Mutai Sandra Chebet, Eva Cherono, Everlyn Chirchir, Jackline Chepkoech and Norah Chebet from South Rift.

The other team that looks strong is the National Police Service that has Commonwealth Games 5,000m silver medallist Stacey Ndiwa, former 3,000m steeplechase world champion Hyvin Kiyeng, 2017 world 10,000m bronze medallist Agnes Tirop, Margaret Chelimo, Edith Chelimo and Beatrice Chepkoech.

Last year's senior women's winner Irene Cheptai will be watching the race from the stands as she continues with her maternity leave. Teams will begin arriving in Eldoret on Thursday.

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