Itching Manangoi can’t wait to go as X-Country D-Day nears
It will be a different ball game for World 1,500m champion Elijah Manangoi as he aims to represent Kenya for the first time in the World Cross Country Championship set for Denmark when he bids to win a slot to team Kenya at the National Cross Country Championship cum trials set for Saturday at the Eldoret Sports Club.
As the D-Day draws closer, a battle royal is expected as elite and upcoming athletes brace themselves for the competition with their eyes firmly trained on tickets to the world event set for March 30 in Aarhus, Denmark.
Remarkably, the weekend outing is a special assignment for Manang’oi, who with a personal best of 3:28:80 in 1,500m set in Monaco before winning the London World Championship in 2017, is focused in making mixed relay team where Kenya will be defending the title, having won the race in Kampala in 2017.
For Manan’goi, a Commonwealth champion, this will be the first time he’ll be taking part in the cross country.
“I’m a track event athlete in 1,500m and in the world cross country relay you run 2, 000m; this is a good opportunity for me to enhance my endurance,” he told Citizen Digital.
Kenya won the newly introduced event in 2017 in Kampala, Uganda after a master class performance by Asbel Kiprop, Winfred Mbithe, Bernard Koros and Beatrice Chepkoech, clocking 22:22 to win ahead of Ethiopia and Uganda.
But the absence of track events early in the year has inspired the continental cup champion to test his readiness in cross country event.
“I will be returning to track in Monaco sometime in May, this being a world athletics championship year I need to keep fit,” he reckoned.
Around 400 athletes are expected to converge at the Eldoret Sports Club for the event.