It will probably be one of the finest fields when four world champions face off in the women’s 8km race at the Kenya Police Service Cross Country Championships at the Ngong Racecourse this Saturday.
Emily Chebet, Vivian Cheruiyot, Mercy Cherono and Edna Kiplagat, who have a total of 10 world titles from track and cross country, will grace the championships that get under way at 9am.
Whether the trio have what it takes to carry the day is left to be known after Kenya Police deputy coach Isaac Kirwa warned that Janet Khisa and Stacy Ndiwa, who both have cross experience, could case upsets.
“Kisa, who won the 58th edition of the Campaccio cross-country race on January 6 in Italy in is great from alongside Ndiwa,” said Kirwa.
On form Chebet, who is fresh from winning Seville Cross last weekend, is looking forward to defend her World title on March 28 in Guiyang, China, after her previous exploits in 2010 and 2013 all in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
Cheruiyot, who won the world junior cross title in 2000 Vilamoura before following it up with world cross senior title in 2011 Punta Umbria, is making a comeback from maternity leave. The break saw her fail to defend her title in 2013 in Poland and her world 5,000m and 10,000mtitles in 2013 Moscow.
Cherono has had a stellar run as a junior. She won the 3,000m World Junior title in Bydgoszcz 2008 before returning to the same city to claim the World junior cross title in 2010. She would go on to defend her 3,000m junior title in 2010 Moncton.
Kiplagat, the reigning London Marathon champion, retained her world marathon title in 2013 Moscow after her 2011 Daegu exploits.
“I have been training well since my return and my body feels great,” said Cheruiyot.
“The field is rich but that isn’t a problem since it depends on how someone had prepared. You can’t run if you develop fear.”
It will be Cheruiyot’s second event upon return after finishing fourth at Wareng Cross in November in Eldoret.