Kenyan team off to Kampala for Sunday's Cross Country Worlds

Indo Asian News Service

Nairobi, March 25 (IANS) Aiming to sweep the medals, the Kenyan athletics team has left for Sunday's World Cross Country Championships in Kampala.

Two years ago, Ethiopia prevented Kenya from winning a fifth successive senior women's team title in Guiyang, China, reports Xinhua news agency.

This epitomises the rivalry, which will be laid bare on the course on Sunday as these two giants seek to obliterate the competition and recoup lost ground.

But the Kenya women's team is not losing any sleep over the opponents strength. Instead, head coach Juma Ndiwa is banking on his athletes' individual brilliance to shine as they take on the world.

To lead the quest is Agnes Tirop, the winner two years ago, who is bidding to become the first back-to-back champion since Tirunesh Dibaba in 2005-2006,

There are Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon, 23, Alice Aprot, who brings solid credentials at 10,000m, and Irene Cheptai, the only athlete in the team to enjoy a unique experience with her third straight appearance in a Kenyan vest at these championships.

The squad also includes world steeplechase champion and Olympic silver medallist Hyvin Kiyeng, who is making her first appearance at the World Cross, Margaret Wambui and Lilian Kasait.

The hosts Uganda, who finished third in the team race two years ago in China, will be gunning for a similar performance on home soil.

Bahrain will be another team full of Kenyan talent led by Olympic steeplechase champion Ruth Jebet.