Kenya athletes spoiling for fight ahead of World Cross Country selection

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-19 02:23:58|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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NAIROBI, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- World junior 10,000m champion Rhonex Kipruto said Monday that there will be no love lost during the Kenya trials on Saturday as he takes on his senior colleagues for a slot in the national team to the World Cross Country Championships in Arhus, Denmark.

Kipruto, 20, is keen to prove to his critics he is no minnow trying to punch above his weight.

The explosive Kenya trials, which will be staged under sunny and humid conditions in Eldoret on Saturday, have been deemed a mini-World Cross Country Championships without Ethiopia and Uganda challenge.

Like his mentor and training mate Olympic 800m Champion David Rudisha, Kipruto shares a similar coach with the legend in Irishman Bro Colm 'O Connell.

"There are a horde of young athletes coming through the system. It has always been like this in Kenya. Nobody is assured of any slot and everyone must fight here. So I respect admire Geoffrey Kamworor's style but there's need for change. I want to be that change to herald a new era in long distance running in Kenya," Kipruto said from Iten.

Alongside Kamworor, the young athletes also need to be wary of the challenge presented by the senior runners, who are keen to cement their names in the Kenya team.

They include World Cross Country silver medalist Leonard Barsoton, who has been based in Japan, but he is back to secure his berth in the yet to be named 30-member Kenya team to Denmark. Others are Edwin Makau, Kennedy Njiru, Josephat Bett and Lawi Komen.

The young athletes also include Kipruto, World Junior 5,000m champion Edward Zakayo, and Nyahururu-based World U-20 silver medalist Stanley Waithaka.