Team Kenya confident of better results at the World Cross-country Championships

ATHLETICS Team Kenya confident of better results at the World Cross-country Championships

Abigael Wafula • 08:18 - 14.02.2023

Kenya has sent 28 athletes (15 men and 13 ladies) to participate in the competition.

Team Kenya head coach Julius Kirwa believes mastery of the course in Bathurst ahead of Saturday’s World Cross-country Championships in Australia is an added advantage to the athletes as they seek to improve their medal tally from their previous championship.

During the 2019 World Cross-country Championships in Arhus, Denmark, Kirwa revealed that having no idea of how the course looked like was a major undoing to their chances of performing well. He noted that, however, this time round, that was one of their key focus when training.

At the time, Kenya only managed to clinch the senior and junior women’s races courtesy of World 10,000m silver medallist Hellen Obiri and Commonwealth Games 10,000m champion Beatrice Chebet. In the men’s senior race, Geoffrey Kamworor was the first Kenyan to cross the finish line third.

“The competition in 2019 was very challenging,” Kirwa recalled. “We do not want a repeat of the same and we have analysed the course in Bathurst well. In our training, I laid out my strategies with other coaches. This time round, we shall not be shocked. We have done everything.”

Kirwa said their training went on well despite the few weather challenges like too much heat and dust. “We trained well and I hope the hard work will reflect in our results,” he said.

The veteran coach observed that the athletes are in good shape from the test runs that they had conducted.

“They just have to believe in themselves. They also have to practice teamwork. Apart from that, they have a good spirit and they are psyched up. We have no injury cases,” he added.

Tough competition from countries like Uganda and Ethiopia awaits the Kenyan contingent but Kirwa is not shaken by that. “I don’t conduct my training because of our opponents…I just cover all the areas and hope for the best. But I strongly believe this time round, we are ready,” he said.

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