Aprot, Nyairera lead Prisons charge for National XC

Kenya Prisons Service is looking forward to qualifying at least five runners to Team Kenya for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, Uganda during the Nationals on Saturday.

After a lean few years, the department has recruited quality talent led by Africa Cross senior women champion, Alice Aprot and Olympics women 800m bronze medallist, Margaret Nyairera, who will be expected to lead the Prisons assault at the IAAF Permit event set for Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi.

Nancy Nzisa, the 2014 Africa Cross junior bronze medallist and Gladys Chesire, the 2015 All Africa Games 10000m silver winner, will offer Aprot a formidable supporting cast in the women’s long race.

Aprot, who is also the African 10,000m titleholder, is a strong bet for the podium having perfected the front running tactic she deployed to take the honours in Yaoundé, Cameroon, her first gold medal for Kenya.

The sister of the 2010 IAAF World Cross senior men gold medallist, Joseph Ebuya, won the women 10km race at the first Athletics Kenya National Cross Country Series meeting in Nairobi on January 21.

In Cameroon, Aprot led Sheila Chepkirui (30:44) and Beatrice Mutai (31:08) to a Kenyan podium sweep as Daisy Jepkemei rounded the perfect 10 by coming home fourth.

-Seasoned Ndiwa-

The corresponding Prisons men 10km squad will be headlined by seasoned Robert Mang’ata Ndiwa who has represented Kenya once in the defunct senior 12km event (2009) and twice in the junior 8km (2005 and 06) who is seeking a fourth outing at the now biennial global showpiece.

Prisons champion, Justus Kagogo and Olympian Charles Yosei Mneria are other potent runners in their bid to jail places in the Team Kenya squad for the men long race.

Nyairera will be paired with Mark Bett in the 4X2km relay event that will feature in the World Cross for the first time this year in a bid to make the event more appealing to nations without distance running pedigree.

Nyairera, Aprot, Yosei and Ndiwa will graduate from the Kenya Prisons Service Training School in Ruiru on Wednesday, giving them the added impetus to excel at the Nationals.

Speaking to Citizen Digital on phone, Prisons coach, Stephen Mwaniki is confident that his team will take the lion’s share of the 24 slots available for Team Kenya for Kampala.

“We have been in camp for more than three weeks and we are looking forward to having a good run on Saturday. We have a strong team and we are targeting about five places in the national team,” Mwaniki emphasised.

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