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Obiri Relishing Strong National Cross Competition

Hellen Obiri reacts after winning the IAAF Golden League meeting in London last season. PHOTO/File
Hellen Obiri reacts after winning the IAAF Golden League meeting in London last season. PHOTO/File

NAIROBI, Kenya-Olympics silver medallist and women world 5000m champion, Helen Obiri, is going for nothing less than the senior 10km title at Saturday’s AK National Cross Country Championship at Uhuru Gardens, Nairobi.

Speaking ahead of the Athletics Kenya/Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya seminar for all athletes, the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) runner noted the race for the title was wide open in the absence of champion Irene Cheptai who is attending to maternal duties.

“There are so many surprises of who will come out strong and many athletes are out to ascend to the top,” Obiri who last month defended her KDF title offered.

“I would love to be the Kenyan champion though it will not be easy going by the entry list. I will give my best and leave the rest to God,” the Rio 2016 silver winner added.

Bronze medallist

The former 3000m world Indoor champion will face stiff competition from World Cross silver winner and Africa 10000m champion, Alice Aprot, World Cross Under 20 bronze medallist, Cellphine Chespol (Kenya Prisons), the 2016 Paris marathon champion Visiline Jepkesho (Prisons) and Stacy Ndiwa (Kenya Police).

“Aprot is in good form as well having won the Kenya Prisons Cross Country recently, so as you can see, it will be tough all the way,” she added.

With defending champion in the men category  Leonard Barsoton, absent, it will be the turn of two-time world cross country champion Geoffrey Kamworor to rise up to the occasion.

Headed for Valencia, Spain to defend his World half Marathon crown in March, the World Cross titleholder will face stiff challenge from 2013 World Cross winner Japheth Korir. Others are  Africa 10000m silver medallist Wilfred Kimitei (Prisons) and Mang’ata Ndiwa (Prisons).

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