Kenya: Mercy Cherono Makes Comeback as Stars Eye Trial Slots

6 February 2019

Battle lines have been drawn ahead of Athletics Kenya (AK) Regional Cross Country Championships planned for Saturday across the country.

The regions will be using the championships to select teams for the National Cross Country Championships set for February 28 at Eldoret Sports Club.

It's in Eldoret where AK will select Team Kenya for the World Cross Country Championships that will take place on March 30 in Aarhus, Denmark.

The 2016 Africa Cross Country champion James Rungaru will be the man to beat in men's 10km race at the Nairobi Region Championships planned for Posta grounds, Ngong Road.

Rungaru, who won the regional championships in 2017, is back to reclaim the title against a strong field that will have the 2016 World Under-20 5,000m bronze medallist Wesley Ledama and Andrew Lorot.

Fresh from, finishing second at Abu Dhabi 10 km in December, Emily Chebet, the 2015 World Under-18 3,000m silver medallist will be in focus in women's 10km race in Nairobi.

World Under-20 and Under-18 1,500m champion George Manangoi and his younger brother Geoffrey will battle in men's Under-20 8km race that has also attracted Victor Chepkwony and Albert Tonui Vincent Keter.

In women's 6km, Mercy Chepkorir, Ann Naasisho, Sharon Chepkemei, Fancy Chepkorir, Sharon Chepkurui and Diana Chepkorir will be the stars on parade.

"Nairobi is known to top the trials in junior ranks at the nationals every year and we should uphold our dominance by selecting a strong team on Saturday," said AK Nairobi Region chairman Barnaba Korir.

The 2010 World Cross Country Under-20 champion Mercy Cherono will be eying a return when she slugs it out in women's 10km at South Rift Region contest plane Kericho Teachers Training College grounds.

Cherono, who is making a return after two year and a half, will team up with her Bomet's teammate World Under-20 1,500m silver medallist Miriam Cherop. They face a strong force from Kericho led by Sandra Chebet and Eva Cherono among others.

Julus Tanki, who won the Machakos leg of the AK Cross Country Series, former World Under-20 10,000m champion David Bett and Bernard Ng'eno leads Bomet's team to men's 10km battle in Kericho.

They face still challenge from Kericho's squad that has 2013 World Cross Country champion Japheth Korir, Dominic Kiptarus and Edwin Spy among others.

Bomet's World Under-20 3,000m steeplechase silver medallist Leonard Bett, who won the AK Series in Machakos is the man to watch in men's Under-20 8km where Shadrack Keter, Kipkorir Cheruiyot and Ronald Mutai from Kericho.

History-making World Under-20 5,000m Beatrice Chebet from Kericho is favourite to win women's Under-20 6km race where she face teammates Fancy Cherono and World Under-20 2,000m steeplechase champion Caren Chebet among others.

In Central Rift, 2017 World Cross Country Under-20 bronze medallist Richard Kimunyan and his brother will star in men's 10km race with the 2017 World Under-18 2,000m steeplechase silver medallist Cleophas Kandie is favourite in men's Under-20 8km race.

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