Zakayo anticipates bruising battle at X-Country Championship

Zakayo anticipates bruising battle at X-Country Championship

World Under-20 5,000m champion Edward Zakayo is anticipating a bruising battle at the National Cross Country Championships set for Saturday at the Eldoret Sports Club.

Zakayo will be making maiden appearance at the senior category where he is set to battle it out with the defending champion Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya Police and other world beaters in the race that will be held for the first time outside of capital Nairobi.

In the last edition, Zakayo competed at the junior category where he finished fifth at the championships held at the Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi.

The form three student at Kapsait Secondary School in Elgeyo Marakwet County said he has prepared well for the race having set his sight on a top three finish in order to make it to team Kenya for World Cross Country championships set for Aarhus, Denmark in March 30.

“I have prepared well for the race, this time the race will be held at home and thus I have no excuse whatsoever on why I should not make it to the team Kenya for World Cross,” Zakayo told Citizen Digital.

The Commonwealth Games bronze medalist will be competing alongside World Under-20 10,000m champion Rhonex Kipruto as well as Africa Cross Country silver medalist Stanley Waithaka whom he hopes  can be a reliable partner as they bid to pull upsets on the senior athletes.

“This is the first time I will be competing in the senior category. I know the race will be tactical especially considering that it will be held in the afternoon. I know Kenyans are watching us (Rhonex, Waithaka and myself) since we are transiting to the seniors. I hope one of us will win,” asserted Zakayo.

On his part, Rhonex trainer Ian Kiprono is also optimistic that the African Cross Country champion in the junior race will earn a ticket to Denmark.

“We have prepared well for Saturday and although it will not be easy I am optimistic Rhonex will make the cut. We know he will be coming up against seasoned athletes but that does not matter, it is your effort that matters,” said Kiprono.

Both Zakayo and Kipruto will be representing North Rift region after being awarded wild cards hence  did not compete in the regional championships held in Maralal, Samburu County.

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