Mneria braced for Prisons Cross Country title defence
Charles Mneria is raring to defend his 10km title at the Kenya Prisons Cross Country Championships set for Saturday at the Prisons Staff Training College in Ruiru.
Mneria, who won the second leg of Athletics Kenya Cross Country meet in Mosoriot last month, said he is using the Cross Country in his build up to the Olympic Games where he is seeking to represent Kenya in 10,000m.
“The way I am training currently I think my body is responding well and I am looking forward to Saturday. For me I am using these races to assess my readiness for the Olympic Games, it is actually like a build up for me because I am eyeing a slot in the Olympics teams in 10,000m,” said Mneria.
It will however not be a walk in the park for Mneria as he will face off with the likes of Mangata Ndiwa, Africa 10,000m silver medalist Wilfred Kimitei, and world 1,500m silver medalist Silas Kiplagat.
Peter Emase, Cornelius Kangogo and the 2012 Olympics 5000m bronze medallist Thomas Longosiwa are also expected to light up the event alongside World 1500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot.
In the women’s front, former champion Alice Aprot will be making her comeback from maternity leave and will battle with the defending champion Loice Chemining, African Games 5000m champion Lilian Kasait, Rosemary Wanjiru as well as the World Under-20 3000m steeplechase champion Celliphine Chespol
Prisons head coach Gideon Chirchir said he will use the championships to gauge his athletes ahead of a busy year that will culminate in the Olympic Games set for Tokyo, Japan in the summer.
“As a coach I am happy that this event will give me an opportunity to observe our athletes since the majority of them have not competed for a very long time due to the pandemic. I think it is the perfect opportunity to blow away the cobwebs,” Chirchir told Citizen Digital.
At the same time, Chirchir expressed his confidence of selecting a competitive team to wrestle away the men’s and women’s title from Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) and Kenya Police respectively at the national championships.
“I know it may still be early to say anything since we have not seen how prepared our opponents are but nevertheless I can assure that we will fight to bag both titles,” said Chirchir.