Obiri chasing fifth star at KDF Cross Country

World Cross Country champion Helen Obiri will be the star attraction as the Kenya Defence Forces athletes converge at the Thika Barracks on Friday for the 39th edition of the KDF Cross Country.

Fresh from taking part in the Cross Internacional de Itálica’ in Spain over the weekend where she finished fourth, the 30-year-old Obiri will be aiming for a fifth consecutive title.

The World 5000m champion will expect stiff competition from Joyceline Jepkosgei who finished second during last year’s event while Turkish Adana half marathon champion, Irene Kamais, Dorcus Kimeli and Mercy Wanjiru are also likely to pose a threat.

In the men’s category defending champion Kandie Kibiwot of Embakasi barracks will be up against Moi airbase Lawi Kosgei and Vedic Cheruiyot of Mutongwe.

Athletics Kenya (AK) will conduct anti-doping awareness campaigns before the start of the event where the soldiers will select a strong contingent for the national trials set for February 8 at the Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi.

Also in the offing this weekend is the AK Regional Cross Country Championships cum Anti-Doping Awareness set for Saturday 25 in all Regions.

Meanwhile over 3000 athletes are expected to take part in the 29th edition of the annual Discovery Cross Country Championships at Eldoret Sports Club, Uasin Gishu County on Sunday, January 26.

Among the star attractions who have confirmed their attendance is World Half Marathon record holder Geoffrey Kamworor and the World Under-20 5,000m champion Beatrice Chebet as well as the defending champion World Under-20 10,000m champion Rhonex Kipruto who timed 30:40.3 to win the race last year.