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Geoffrey Kamworor: Man of all surfaces

Wednesday July 20 2016

World Half Marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor jogs during a training session at University of Eldoret grounds on July 19, 2016 ahead the Rio Olympic Games. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA |

World Half Marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor jogs during a training session at University of Eldoret grounds on July 19, 2016 ahead the Rio Olympic Games. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

BENARD ROTICH
By BENARD ROTICH
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They call him ‘a man of all surfaces.’ This is because Geoffrey Kamworor has excelled on the track, road and cross country.

The 24-year-old from Chepkorio village in Elgeyo-Marakwet County isn’t done just yet and has been scheming, against insurmountable odds, to reclaim the 10,000 metres Olympic gold last won by trail-blazing Naftali Temu at the 1968 Games in Mexico.

This race has in recent times been dominated by Somali-born, Kenya-nurtured Mohammed “Mo” Farah.

Since 1968, Kenya has been looking to restore its glory but it has been hard since the competition from the Ethiopians and the Briton has been stiff.

Daily Nation Sport caught up with Kamworor after a training session at Chepkoilel grounds in Eldoret, with the World Half Marathon champion confident that a display of teamwork and unity in Rio would ensure the country bags at least two medals from the three on offer in the longest track race.

“We’vee been training well so far and we are fit for the Olympics in Rio based on our hard work and dedication in training,” said the champion who was training alongside World Half Marathon Championships silver medallist Bedan Karoki.

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Kamworor says he has been competing with Farah and he no longer fears the Briton since he knows his tactics.

“The people we are competing with are the same people we are going to meet in Rio. The most important thing is to concentrate on training and since I have been with Mo Farah in many races, I know it’s not hard to defeat him,” said Kamworor.

Kamworor will team up with Japan-based Karoki with whom he successfully worked in Cardiff during the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships to pull away from their rivals, including Mo, and clinch gold and silver respectively.

The world 2015 bronze medallist Paul Tanui, who is also based in Japan with Fukuoka’s Kyudenko Company, is the third Kenyan in the mix.

RUN FAST

As to whether Kamworor and Karoki will use the same tactics employed when they worked in tandem in Cardiff to make it one of the fastest race, Kamworor insists their main aim will be to “run fast and work together.”

He is poised to come up against the seven times champion in both World and Olympic champion Mo who has never lost in major 10,000m races since 2011 World Championships in South Korea.

Three world senior titles (two on the road and one at cross country) has tiled Kamworor’s status as the world most versatile runner. He says the secret to his success is discipline and determination as instilled in him by his head coach Patrick Sang and Richard Metto.

Kamworor has always used the front-running type of performance as opposed to the fashionable sit-and-kick tactic exuded by most athletes in the track event over the years.

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