Lorot itching to crown junior career with AXC gold
Youngster Andrew Lorot heads for the fourth running of the Africa Cross Country Championships (AXC) in Yaoundé, Cameroon this weekend with high hopes of taking home the coveted gold medal on his last outing as a junior.
“This time I have no problem, I’m so strong than when I was going to Uganda. Remember that time we trained in Ngong (Nairobi), but this time, the conditions here in Kigari (Embu County) are different, I won silver last time and now I’m praying God to help me win the gold,” Lorot told Citizen before the team left for West Africa on Wednesday.
Lorot holds the Kenya National Secondary School, 5000m title and he was the silver medallist at the East Africa Secondary School Sports Association championships in 10,000m.
At the last Africa Cross in Uganda, he took the second medal in 22:50.19 behind compatriot, Moses Mukono but this time, he is not willing to be led to the altar again in a bid to crown his junior career by scaling to the middle step of the podium.
“I have prepared well, and my team mates are well prepared, I have seen the team’s strength and I can assure you we are going to work as a team in order to defend the title that we took in Uganda,” the 19 year-old asserted.
In Yaoundé, Lorot has the added motivation of lining up against his step-brother, Nixon Kiplagat, who took the honours in the men junior 8km race just ahead of him in a flying finish in a family 1-2 at the IAAF Permit/AK National Cross Country Championships in Nairobi.
“The big challenge was that part of the course was water-logged,” added Lorot, the African junior cross-country silver medallist told IAAF after the race.
“I knew I could win but I let him do it today because he is my brother. We share the same father but different mothers. I will train thoroughly for Yaoundé to have the victory to myself.”
Isaac Kipsang, Willy Kwemoi, Ronald Kiprotich, Alfred Ngeno and Anthony Kiptoo, complete the 8 km junior men’s team that is hoping to score the perfect 10 score by completing a 1-2-3-4 finish. Eritrea’s Afewerki Berhane nicked in for the individual bronze in Kampala.
-Kavekye eyes glory-
Also aiming to make an impact in Cameroon is women’s captain Pauline Kaveke Kamulu, 22, who will be wearing running shoes for the first time having represented the country in the junior race at the 2013 IAAF World Cross in Bydgoszcz, Poland where she finished a commendable 11th despite running bare feet.
“I must wear shoes now, before I was not used to shoes but I have trained well and I believe this will help me register good results in Cameroon,” said the team’s deputy captain.
She earned a wildcard nod in the Yaoundé team when world 3000m steeplechase champion, Hyvin Kiyeng and experienced cross campaigner, Janet Kisa, withdrew from the squad opening up two slots.
Kaveke says a blister she suffered during the Nationals caused by not wearing shoes saw her fail to challenge for an automatic ticket at the same Uhuru Gardens course in Nairobi where she emphatically won the Kenya Prisons Service title.
“We don’t see much of a challenge out there. As a team we are training together very well to make sure that we bring home the team title because even if one of us wins and the others are far behind, we are going to lose the team title,” the middle and long distance runner, from the County of Machakos added.
Others in the team are national champion Alice Aprot, Beatrice Mutai, Sheila Chepkirui, Daisy Jepkemei, Pauline Korikwiang and Nancy Nzisa who are seeking to hold on to the crown vacated by world 1500m silver medallist, Faith Chepng’etich who was forced out of the nationals injured.
Kenya will be represented by 24 athletes, in the 4th edition of the Africa show piece.