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We are not under pressure, declare Chelimo and Zakayo ahead of Agnes Tirop Memorial

Reigning world 5000m silver medalist Margaret Kipkemboi Chelimo and reigning Commonwealth Games 5,000m bronze medalist Edward Zakayo are not under pressure to deliver at the Agnes Tirop Memorial World Cross Country Tour set for tomorrow at the Eldoret’s Lobo Village. 

Chelimo was second at the Italica Cross Country Tour in 24:23 behind Norah Jeruto (24:22) and ahead of third-placed Chebet (24:35). 

The 29-year-old said cross country races are dear to her heart because it prepares her for the track and field season, especially this year where she will be eyeing a podium place at the World Championship in Oregon, United States.  

“Cross country is quite important for me because it is a build-up for the track and field season. I expect the competition will be tough compared to the national cross country champions because it is not only about us Kenyans but also the international athletes,” Chelimo said. 

The former world under 20 5,000m champion  Zakayo expects the toughest threat to emanate from the Kenyans themselves rather than their international counterparts. 

“We know ourselves and our capabilities. As a Kenyan athlete, competing against your countryman will be tougher than against an international runner because you two know each other inside out, including your training regimes. The pressure to match up against the foreign athletes won’t be as intense as the friendly rivalry among us,” the 2018 World Under-20 5000m champion said. 

Zakayo will be among 68 Kenyan athletes who will be battling in the senior men’s 10km race, which has been reserved for local runners. 

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