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Cross-Country champion wary of neigbouring nations ahead of title

Erickson Kiprono @PeopleSports

Two-time World Cross-Country champion Geoffrey Kamworor has warned Kenyan athletes to be wary of their Ugandan and Ethiopian counterparts as they seek to defend their title in Aarhus, Denmark next month.

Ugandan will be selecting their team to Denmark this weekend where world 10,000m and 5,000m Joshua Cheptegei is expected to light up the event in Tororo and Kamworor feels the two neigbouring countries pose the biggest threat.

“If I make the team, (during the National Cross-Country trials set to take place in Eldoret next Saturday), we are going to meet the likes of Cheptegei and athletes from Ethiopia who have been doing well in the recent past.  Kenya has to run as a team to make sure they win back the title,” said Kamworor.

“There have never been any doubts about my fitness. I had a bad race in New York and the back problems healed immediately. Now I am back in training and will be vying for a ticket to Denmark by dominating the national trials,” added a confident Kamworor, who recently won the Kenya Police cross-country championships after obliterating his opponents.

Kamworor timed 29:36.1 to win the senior men’s 10km race to clinch his sixth straight Kenya National Police Service title, relegating Josephat Boit of Presidential Escort and Isaac Temoi to second and third position respectively and now wants to make it a hat-trick of cross-country crowns in Denmark.

“The stage is set for the national trials in Eldoret and I have no doubt Kenya will select a strong team,” said Kamworor.

The athlete, commonly now known as ‘man of all surfaces’, for his prowess on track, road and cross-country races, is also excited with the number young athletes coming through which gives Kenya a competitive edge.

“I watched how Rhonex Kipruto was running during the Discovery Cross-Country Championships and I must say he is a good athlete.

It’s going to be a tough battle for me but I believe in my training,” said Kamworor, who trains with world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge.

In Eldoret, Kamworor and co will also have some famous names watching them do battle. Irene Cheptai, who led her compatriots to a clean sweep of all first six positions in the senior women’s race in the 2017 edition in Kampala, Uganda is now on maternity leave same as World and Olympics champion Faith Chepng’etich.

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