Veteran cross country runner Hosea Macharinyang will lead the Kenyan charge to the 2013 IAAF World Cross Championships in Poland next month.
Macharinyang is among the 28 strong athletes named by AK after the KCB National Cross Country Championships at Uhuru Gardens over the weekend. Macharinyang will be make his remarkable eighth appearance at the world cross after finishing fourth to bag the last automatic slot in the team.
The race was won by Kenya Police officer Philemon Rono, who posted 35:21.5 to upset seasoned runners.Others who bagged automatic slots were second-placed Timothy Kiptoo (35:25.0) and third-finisher Geoffrey Kirui (35:26.4). Jonathan Muia and Japheth Korir bagged the two reserve slots in this category after remarkable displays in the local cross country series.
Defending champion Bedan Karoki, 2010 world champion Joseph Ebuya and 2008 silver medallist Leonard Komon failed to make an impact. Other flops included 2010 junior champion John Mwangangi, who placed 14th, Martin Mathathi, Isaiah Kiplagat, Mark Kiptoo, Peter Matelong and 2011 world silver medallist, Paul Tanui .
Police also dominated the women's race with Margaret Wangari ensuring the absence of world cross champion Vivian Cheruiyot and silver medallist Linet Masai did not take the limelight off the Service.
Wangari, who finished sixth in Bydgoszcz in 2010 and eighth in Edinburgh in 2008 will be in the company of fourth-placed Emily Chebet, the 2010 World Cross winner, who will be seeking to reclaim her title after failing to do so last year.
The 2010 world cross junior champion Mercy Cherono received reserve slot in the team despite finishing outside the top 30.AK secretary general said something could have gone wrong for Cherono, who also holds a silver from the 2009 World Cross, adding that her performances in the season can't be overlooked.
18-year-old Ronald Kwemoi produced a stunning performance to win the junior men's race in 23:10.2.
Race favourite Moses Mukono was third in 23:20.7, behind Leonard Barsoton (23:16.1).
The women's junior team will see world cross champion Faith Chepng'etich up against her sister Caroline Chepkoech.
Chepngetich, who is also the world Junior 1500m champion won the race in 19:53.8, ahead of Agnes Chebet (20:02.3) and Roseline Chepng'etich (20:04.1), while Chepkoech was fourth in 20:07.7. World Junior steeplechase champion Mercy Chebwogen was handed a wild card.
AK public relations officer, Peter Angwenyi, observed that the team is headed for a medal haul, owing to their wealth of experience. "The prolonged training programme will also put them in right frame both mentally and physically," said Angwenyi.
Kenya will be seeking to retain the titles they won in 2011 and as well reclaim the men's individual and women's team titles from rival Ethiopia. The team will report to camp on February 20 at Kigari Teachers Training College in Embu.
Junior women: Faith Chepng'etich, Agnes Chebet, Roseline Chepng'etich, Caroline Chepkoech, Sheila Chepng'etich, Pauline Kaveke, Mercy Chebwogen; Junior men: Ronald Kwemoi, Leonard Barsoton, Moses Mukono, Emanuel Bett, Bernard Kipkemoi, Conseslus Kipruto; Senior women: Margaret Wangari, Irene Cheptai, Janet Kisa, Emily Chebet, Beatrice Chepkemoi, Viola Kibiwott, Mercy Cherono; Senior men: Philemon Rono, Timothy Kiptoo, Geoffrey Kirui, Hosea Mwok Macharinyang, Jonathan Muia, Japheth Korir, Geoffrey Kipsang, Vincent Chepkok