The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Foreign Stars for Discovery

AFRICA 3,000m Steeplechase bronze medalist Benjamin Kiplagat of Uganda leads a host of foreign athletes for Discovery Cross country at Eldoret Sports Club tomorrow.

He will be joined in by compatriots Soyekwo Kibet, Abraham Kiplimo in the men's 10km race and Philip Kipyego in the 8km junior men.

The athletes are training at Global Camp at Kaptagat under coach Richard Metto.Kiplagat specialises in the 3,000m steeplechase and has appeared three times at the world cross country championships.

He participated at the world cross country championships in Japan (2006), Kenya (2007) and Edinburgh (2008) but failed to make to the podium.

He placed 50th, 5th and 4th in all the competitions while competing in the men's junior race.Soyekwo on the other hand placed 25th in the junior category at the 2010 world cross championships but he has since graduated to the senior ranks.

He upset Kenya athletes last month in the 12km race at the sixth leg of the Athletics Kenya/Kenya Commercial Bank cross country series in Eldoret.

Kiplimo competed in the 5,000m race last year during the London Olympic Games but failed to qualify for the finals while Kipyego ran at the world junior championships in 2011.

"Kenya athletes should watch closely because these athletes are very good and they have learnt the ropes in Kenya. We expect the competition to be a lot tougher this weekend," coach Richard Metto said.

Kip Keino High Altitude Performance Training Centre in Eldoret will field Muhammad Pacar from Comoro in the 8km junior category.The 18-year old boy specialises in the 5,000m and he is shaping up for the world championships this August in Moscow.

"I came to Kenya to train for the world championships because I like the high altitude which is good for training. I will be gauging my speed at the Discovery cross country," Pacar said.

Athletes from USA and Italy who are training in different parts of the region are also expected to grace the event.Organisers said they have accomplished the preparations for the event and it will be the biggest event in Kenya.

"We have finalised the preparations and the stage is set for a fierce battle amongst athletes from different countries."Athletics Kenya Rift Valley secretary general David Letting said.

AK president Isaiah Kiplagat will be the chief guest accompanied by 30 guests from Europe.

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