Kamworor, Chelangat to skip Africa Cross in Togo
World Cross Country bronze medalist Geoffrey Kamworor and the newly crowned national champion Sheila Chelangat will not represent Kenya at the Africa Cross Country Championships to be held in April 8 in Lome, Togo.
The duo sealed their spots in the national team on Saturday at the national championships held at Ngong Race Course when Chelangat won the women’s senior race in 34:34.9 while Kamworor finished second in the men’s race after clocking 30:05.5 behind Kibiwott Kandie of Kenya Defence Forces who triumphed in 30:12.0
However, the two athletes of Kenya Police Service have opted out of the team of 40 athletes announced by Athletics Kenya (AK) for the biennial continental championships.
While Kamworor is set to defend his World Half Marathon title on March 29 in Gydnia, Poland, Chelangat is scheduled to compete in a road race also slated for April in Spain.
“I would have loved to represent my country in Togo but it was my decision to pull out because I will be having a race in Spain. However, I will now embark on my preparations for Olympics since it is my major focus this year,” said Chelangat.
Following the withdrawal of Kamworor, Edwin Kosgei who ranked seventh in the race has been called up to fill the void with world 5000m silver medalist Margaret Chelimo who also finished seventh in the women’s race replacing Chelangat.
In the team announced by AK Vice President in charge of competitions Paul Mutwii, World 3000m steeplechase champion Beatrice Chepkoech will team up with Abel Kipsang, Vivian Cheruto and Gilbert Kwemoi in the mixed relay race.
The Kenyan contingent has increased from the previous editions owing to the introduction of the two new events- 5km and 6km races for girls and boys under the age of 18 years.
Kenya holds both the men and women senior titles from the 2018 championships held in Chlef, Algeria where Alfred Barkach and Celliphine Chespol took top honours in the men’s and women’s categories respectively.
10km senior men
10km senior women
8km Under-20 men
6km under-20 women
6km Under-18 boys
5km Under-18 girls