Showdown is expected at the 2nd leg of the Athletics Kenya (AK) Cross Country series slated for Saturday in Sotik, Bomet County.
The event that is heading to the South Rift region after the first leg was held in the Southern region will be held in Chemagel grounds in Sotik town.
Home girls – World 3000m steeplechase champion Beatrice Chepkoech and former Commonwealth Games 5000m champion Mercy Cherono will be joined by the Olympic 1500m champion Faith Chepngetich in the senior race.
In the corresponding men’s race it will be equally competitive as World 1500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot will battle it out with World Under-20 3000m steeplechase silver medallist Leonard Kipkemoi Bett and Julius Tanki among others.
According to AK Bomet County chairman John Kimetto, the preparations for the one-day event are complete warning athletes to expect a tough course.
“I want to appeal to all athletes to come out in large numbers. We have developed a very tough course that will prepare athletes adequately for the course in Togo. All the elite athletes from Bomet County have confirmed their participation and we also expect athletes from the disciplined forces,” said Kimetto.
With athletes eyeing a slot in team Kenya for the Africa Cross Country Championships slated for next year March in Lome, Togo, a huge turn out is expected in the four main categories; senior men and women (10km), Junior men (8km) and junior women (6km).
Also, for the first time, youths below 18 years will compete in the two newly introduced events- 6km boys and 5km girls- with the events set to debut at the continental event.
“Initially we used to merge the under-20s and under-18s but two new categories have been introduced to cater for the Under-18s. Athletes will be competing on these two events for the first time here in Sotik,” added Kimetto.
After the Sotik meet, athletes will shift focus to the third leg to be held in Ol Kalou on December 21 before heading to Kapsokwony for the fourth leg on December 28.
Iten will host the fifth and final leg on January 4.