Faith Kipyegon, Stanley Waithaka Mburu, Immaculate Anyango, Amos Serem to chase Sirikwa Classic, World Cross Country Tour – Gold meeting honours at Lobo Village, Eldoret on Saturday.
Last year the same venue hosted the first edition of the tour named Agnes Tirop Memorial Cross Country Tour in honour of the 2019 World 10,000m bronze medalist who made history as the second-youngest winner of the senior women’s world cross country title in 2015 in Guiyang, China.
The two-time World and Olympic champion Kipyegon will start her season campaign in front of her home crowd as she takes on the 2018 Commonwealth Games 10,000m silver medalist Stacy Ndiwa, Sheila Chepkirui, newly crowned Discovery Kenya Cross Country Champion Immaculate Anyango in the women’s 10km senior women event.
Others in the event include former 3,000m World Junior silver medalist Zenah Jemutai and Daisy Cherotich, Cynthia Limo, Gladys Kwamboka, Christine Komen, Sheila Jebet, Marion Kibor, Tabitha Kamau, Zenah Chemutai, Sheila Jerotich among others.
The second edition of the World Cross Country Tour Gold event in the country has also attracted a huge foreign contingent including German Olivia Gurth, Esther Jakobitz, Lovisa Kissa of Uganda.
Mburu who established himself as a name to watch in the distance running after his silver position performance at the 2022 World Athletics Championships will spearhead the men’s lineup alongside Amos Cherem, Bravin Kiprop, Raynold Kipkorir, the 2023 national cross country champion Charles Lokir. Solomon Boit, Vincent Koech, Dismas Lokira, Silas Kiptoo, Abel Mutai, and Samson Ndirangu are among other notable names on the invited list
The men’s 8km junior category will have Kiplagat Temoi, Justus Muasya, Kelvin Maru, Jonson Mugeni, Vincent Mutai, Brian Muthomi, Kibet Ndiwa, and Joash Ruto.
Sylvia Chebet will lead the women’s 8km race alongside, Mercy Chepkemoi, Stella Chepkech, and Naomi Yator among others.
At the same time, Local Organizing Committee chairman Ibrahim Hussein has said the preparation is at an advanced stage and the event will be at hundred percent by Thursday evening
“We are moving fast with preparations, everything will be ready by Thursday evening ahead of the event on Saturday. We have already engaged in Gishu County security personnel, the incident will be free like last year. Apart from athletics, many activities will be taking place including entertainment, many artists are lined up to perform, and fans can also enjoy boat riding. It will be a sports and entertainment event,” said Hussein.
Meet Director Barnaba Korir assured the race will be successful also noting that the event which is the last of 14 meets across the globe and will have the highest prize money for both juniors and senior categories.
“The most important thing is to make sure the athletes enjoy the event, so far the organizing committee has done impressive work ahead of the event. The event will have the biggest prize money, with senior race winners getting $6,000, the juniors will also be paid,” Korir is AK Youth Development chairman.