By John Kwoba
NAIROBI, March 23 (Xinhua) -- World 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop of Kenya is expectant to add another feather to his cap when he lines up in Kampala, Uganda on Sunday for the World Cross Country Championships.
Kiprop, who is competing in the newly introduced Mixed Relay race, said the championships offers a new dimension to his season as he has started training early and hopes it will improve his endurance ahead of the track competitions, which start in May.
Pressure will be on Kiprop to deliver and prove his critics wrong after he shattered many Kenyans dreams in Rio Olympics when he returned sixth in his quest for gold in the four lap race.
The world cross country championships offers him the first opportunity to atone that loss and it is a chance he is not looking away from.
"I have to do well. It is team sport and it is not all about me. But the team we have is strong and there will be no excuse for not doing well," he said on Thursday in Nairobi.
The mixed relay will be the first of five races at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships.
Kiprop has said the Kenyan team doesn't fear world 1500m record-holder Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia, who is also registered to compete in the mixed relay.
"Dibaba is a strong athlete but I have confidence in our squad. We have Bernard Kipkorir, Winfreda Nzisa and Beatrice Chepkoech. There is also Mark Bett and Margaret Nyairera, the Olympic 800m bronze medalist. I have been in camp training and have slowly regained my top form," he said.
Kenya team of 30 athletes is due to depart to Kampala tonight. The country has dominated the cross country championships together with rivals Ethiopia and the trend is not about to end in Kampala.