World Cross Country bronze medallist Geoffrey Kamworor and World 5,000m silver medallist Margaret Chelimo will defend their Kenya Police Service Cross Country titles Saturday morning at the Ngong Racecourse ground.
Last year Kamworor, who 2015 and 2017 World Cross Country champion, edged out Josphat Boit in a thrilling exchange in the last lap to win his sixth Kenya Police men's 10km title.
Kamworor would finish fifth at the National Cross Country Championships in Eldoret but made the World Cross Country team where he failed to defend his World Cross title in Denmark, losing the battle to Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo.
Kamworor would win the Kenya Police and National 10,000m titles in July and August on his way to setting a new world half marathon record with a new time of 58:01 in Copenhagen on September 15.
On November 3, he won the New York City Marathon with a time of 2:08:13, his second time winning the race in three years. Saturday morning’s battle will be Kamworor’s first race since winning in New York.
Kamworor will face the usual suspects Boit, Augustine Choge, Isaac Kwemoi, Matthew Kisorio among others.
“I will definitely be seeking my seventh cross title at the Police event,” said Kamworor, who is a eying a place either in the marathon team or 10,000m at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. “I only miss an Olympic medal in my cabinet and for sure I am working hard for it.”
After clinching her maiden won last year, Chelimo, the 2015 Africa Games 5,000m champion has vowed to retain the title.
Chelimo, who had taken part in the event since 2016, finally claimed her maiden victory, beating the 2015 World 3,000m steeplechase champion Hyvin Kiyeng and 2012 World Half Marathon bronze medallist Pascalia Jepkorir.
Chelimo warmed up to her title defence with victory at BOclassic Südtirol 5km race in, Bolzano, Italy on December 31, equalling the course record in 15:30, beating Ethiopian Natsanet Gudeta (15:31) and compatriot Gloria Kite (15:32) and Mercy Cherono (15:38).
“My body has been responding well to training and I am ready to go tomorrow,” said Chelimo, who is eying her maiden appearance at the Olympics having won silver at the 2018 Africa, 2018 Commonwealth and 2019 World Championships.
“I want to scale the ladder from that point and I am confident I can,” said Chelimo, who is up against Stacy Ndiwa, who failed to defend her title last year owing to an injury, World Marathon champion Ruth Chepng’etich and Janet Khisa among others.