Justin Lagat keeps us updated on all things Kenyan athletics. This is his update on cross country.
As the cross country season is slowly coming to climax here in Kenya, Geoffrey Kamworor and Jackline Cherotich won the National Police Service cross country championships at the Ngong Grounds in Nairobi this weekend.
Kamworor, the three-times world half marathon champion and two times world senior cross country champion, exhibited great for to win the men’s race in a clear margin. This was his seventh national police title. Joseph Boit and Hosea Kimosop were second and third consecutively.
This was a great start to the Olympic year for Kamworor who is expecting to defend his world half marathon title in Poland on 29th March. The Tokyo Olympic Games is also on his focus, although the athletics federation in the country is yet to name the marathon team later this month. Perhaps he might be included in the team having won the New York City Marathon last year.
Jackline Cherotich, a relatively new name, defeated some of the big names in the women’s race to emerge the victor. Stacy Ndiwa came second while Margaret Chelimo took the third position.
Cherotich targets to make the national team to the African cross country championships in March and hopefully the Olympic team to Tokyo later in the year as well.
Other runners are yet to form their teams from the Kenya Defence forces, the Universities and Colleges and from different regions in the country that will compete with the police service team at the nationals next month.
But before the national trials can happen on the 8th of February, there will also be the annual Nike Discovery Kenya cross country event that has been termed as the biggest cross country in the country on the 26th of this month in Eldoret.
The Discovery event in Eldoret and the national cross country championships will, as it has always been, show the athletes to look out for in big competitions across the world later in the year.