Former Kenya World Cross country team head coach David Letting is optimistic that Kenyan athletes will shine when the nation will be hosting the World Cross Country Tour next year at the Lobo Village, in Kapseret, Eldoret.
The World Cross Country Tour is set to be launched on Tuesday morning and top notch leaders are expected to grace the occasion at the hosting ground.
Letting, who coached Kenya’s best cross country with the greatest outing ever, said that the cross country event has been brought to ‘its owners’ following Kenyan’s dominance in cross country across the world.
He said that despite the event not being a serious competition because athletes will compete through invitation only, he said he wants the Kenya team replicate the 2010 world cross country championships where the nation swept all medals on offer with the championships concluding with 13 medals, 8 gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze.
“I know it is Africa hosting the event. It is not just a Kenyan affair but our athletes should be ready to compete with the rest of the world because the best of the best will be here to test the ground,” said Letting.
The 2010 event remains as one of the most successful cross country outings ever by any country across the world where Letting’s team denied other nations their national anthem to be sung at the Myślęcinek in Bydgoszcz city of Poland.
“Hosting a world event is not an easy thing but I must thank Athletics Kenya for successfully bidding for the hosting rights. We have the capacity to host a successful show,” added Letting.
Joseph Ebuya, who had run away from cattle rustling menace in the West Pokot ended Kenya’s dry spell for 11 years since Paul Tergat had won the title in 1999.
Ebuya won the title in 33:00 in the men’s 12km race after Tergat had won the title five times in a row from 1995 to 1999. As Ebuya won the race, Richard Kipkemboi Mateelong was 7th followed by Paul Kipngetich Tanui and the late Hosea Mwok Macharinyang completed the race in the 9th position to collect 20 points to top the world.
Emily Chebet won the senior women title with Linet Masai claiming silver with Lineth Chepkirui and Margaret Muriuki coming in the 5th and 6th positions respectively gaining 14 points to win the overall title.
In the junior men, Caleb Mwangangi Ndiku won the 8km junior title leading a podium sweep for team Kenya when Clement Kiprono Langat won silver and Japheth Kipyegon Korir ending the podium sweep. Isaiah Koech Kiplagat, Gideon Kipketer Kipkemoi and Charles Kibet Chepkirui were in 4th, 8th and 11th positions respectively for a total of 10 points to rule the world.
The same was replicated in 6km junior women when Mercy Cherono led a podium sweep with Purity Cherotich winning silver and Esther Chemtai with bronze and Faith Chepng’etich coming in 4th position and Alice Nawouna Aprot finishing in the 9th place for 10 points