The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: All Set for Cross Country Trials As Ebuya Seeks to Reclaim Local Title

The 2010 world cross country champion Joseph Ebuya is seeking to rediscover himself as he parades in his 12km speciality at the KCB national cross country trials at Uhuru Gardens this morning.

Ebuya, who missed the 2011 edition in Punta Umbria, Spain due to injury, will be attempting to reclaim the local title and earn his slot in the team to Bydgoszcz, Poland as the country selects a strong team to wrestle the title back from Ethiopia's Imane Merga.

Ebuya was fourth at the Kenya Defence Forces' cross country last month. Kenya will hope to select a 24-man squad to fly the national flag in Bydgoszcz with memories from their last showing at the same venue in 2010 acting as inspiration. Kenya completed an unprecedented sweep of all eight individual and team titles on offer to stamp their supremacy in cross-country running.

The first four finishers across the line will be guaranteed places in the Kenyan team for the world cross. A panel of selectors will then decide which two other athletes in each category will be added to the squad.

Apart from Ebuya, attention will also be fixed on whether Hosea Macharinyang can bag a country record eighth world cross appearance by nailing one of the six slots.

With Vivian Cheruiyot and Linet Masai out of the race, the complexion of this squad will be altered.

However, the resurgence of Emily Chebet, the 2010 World cross-country champion who won four out of four in the KCB/AK cross country series, starts favourite. Lineth Chepkirui, who has recovered from the injury that saw her miss out last year, has now regained the kind of form that took her to Edinburgh, Amman, Bydgoszcz and Punta Umbria.

Mercy Cherono, the 2010 World Cross junior winner now competing in Police colours, is keen to crown her step up by returning to Poland with the emerging talent being fronted by African champion Joyce

Chepkirui and Gladys Cherono, who won the 10000m/5000m double at the African Championships last year.

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