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Simiu and Kasait set for Sirikwa Classic Cross country

World 10,000m silver medalist Daniel Simiu Ebenyo and world running 5km bronze medalist Lilian kasait Rengeruk  will be the star attraction at Saturday’s third edition of Sirikwa Classic Cross country championships that will be staged at the Lobo Village, in Eldoret, uasin Gishu county.

Speaking during the press conference on Friday, Simiu said that he will be making his debut at the Sirikwa as part of endurance for track events that will culminate at the Olympic Games in Paris, France.

He said cross country running offers  great opportunities for endurance, speed and all that is needed in athletics.

“Cross country means a lot to me. Running in such races will help me gauge my preparations for the world cross country and Olympic Games which is the culmination of all events. I will focus on cross country then as time goes on and if everything goes well, maybe I’ll take part in the 10,000m,” said the New Delhi half marathon champion.

In the absence of defending champion Faith Kipyegon, Kasait will be the athlete to watch as she transitions from the 5,000m to 10,000m said that running the race will be [part of her endurance especially in this transition period.

“This is the time to work hard so that I can run well in my transition. It will be a great start to my year ahead of the Paris show,” said kasait.

Race director Barnaba Korir said that 15 countries have confirmed taking part in the race is a potent indication of Kenya’s potential to host more global events.

“We have hosted past successful events and top athletes have participated before. We are happy and proud to have athletes from various parts of the world. We aim to make it big like other cross-country series taking place all over the world,” said Korir.

He added that Eldoret is a home of  talent and because they are introducing kids to athletics, it will help nurture junior runners.

He urged competitors to register in large numbers since major obstacles had been removed.

“We are finalizing everything. The course is coming out nicely. Obstacles in terms of mountains and few barriers. It looks even better than last time,” he said.

Senior vice president Paul Mutwii said that the event is great because it will help Athletics Kenya select the Africa Cross country team that will be stated in Tunisia come 26th February.

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