Sirikwa Classic Cross-Country fever rise after foreign athletes are confirmed

ATHLETICS Sirikwa Classic Cross-Country fever rise after foreign athletes are confirmed

Abigael Wafula 08:00 - 30.01.2024

The race organisers of the Sirikwa Classic Cross-country are out to ensure fans get top-notch experiences owing to the strong athletes that have been invited for the event.

The 2024 Sirikwa Classic Cross-country, a World Athletics Gold Label meet, will promise to be one of the most epic events in the athletics calendar.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, February 3 at the Lobo Village in Eldoret and it has attracted some of the greatest road runners.

The event will serve as a qualifier for the Africa Cross County Championships which will be held in Tunis, Tunisia on February 25 this year.

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In the list of invited athletes, double world record holder and defending champion Faith Kipyegon headlines the field. Kipyegon enjoyed an amazing 2023 season that saw her set three world records and bag double gold at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

The two-time Olympic champion opened her 2023 season at the Sirikwa Classic and she is yet to confirm whether she will be going to defend her title. In-form Beatrice Chebet has also been invited but she had already announced that she would not be competing at the event.

Edinah Jebitok has been making headlines in international competitions and she will be looking to replicate the same performance once she toes the line.

She will be hoping to continue her winning streak after bagging her third Gold-level victory in the World Athletics Cross Country Tour at the Energyvision CrossCup Hannut last Sunday.

Catherine Reline will also be in the race contesting for top honours after dominating the just concluded Discovery Kenya Cross Country. She will be joined by another strong athlete, Grace Loibach, who cemented her name in the name of greats last season and she will be out to prove a point.

Former London Marathon champion Joycilline Jepkosgei has also been invited and she might be looking to build up on the cross country as she eyes a busy season. Former World 10,000m bronze medallist Margaret Chelimo will also be on the starting line looking to challenge her compatriots.

The Ethiopian charge will be led by Anley Yeshaneh while the Ugandans will be led by Joy Cheptoiyek. Great Britain’s Maltby Kate will also be competing with Norway’s Maridal Hanne also in the mix.

Meanwhile, the men’s race will also be one to watch since it has attracted some of the greatest road runners. Abel Kipsang headlines the strong field with Abraham Kibiwott and Alex Ngeno joining him on the starting line.

Germany’s Abraham Filmon will be in the race going for top honours. Cornelius Kemboi, Conseslus Kipruto, and Charles Muneria have also been invited to the event.

World Half Marathon silver medallist will also be in the mix, going for top contention since he made it clear that he was tired of bagging silver medals. He will renew rivalry with Sabastian Kimaru Sawe who beat him during the World Road Running Championships last season. Kyumbe Munguti will also be competing there with the hope of opening his season on a high.

The junior category will also pit some of Kenya’s young talent against each other to groom the next crop of athletes.

Athletics Kenya noted that all athletes who have been invited and wish to participate should contact Milcah Chemos.