Duo set for Kenya National X-Country Championship

Rwanda’s Felicein Muhitira and Beatha Nishimwe will compete in the Kenya National Cross Country Championship, which is an IAAF permit meeting set to take place on February 13 at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi.
Beatha Nishimwe (L) and Muhitira, 21, will compete in the senior men 12km. (File)
Beatha Nishimwe (L) and Muhitira, 21, will compete in the senior men 12km. (File)

Rwanda’s Felicein Muhitira and Beatha Nishimwe will compete in the Kenya National Cross Country Championship, which is an IAAF permit meeting set to take place on February 13 at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi.

This will be the 7th IAAF permit Cross Country Meeting since the series begun on November 15, 2015 in Burgos, Spain. The duo leaves for Nairobi on Thursday afternoon aboard RwandAir, two days before the event, to acclimatize to the Kenyan weather.

Muhitira, 21, will compete in the senior men 12km while Nishimwe, last year’s Africa Youth 1,500 metres champion, will race in the junior women 6km.

“I have trained hard for this competition and I look forward to winning a medal and improving my personal timing ahead of the World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff, on March 26,”Muhitira told Times Sport.

At the World Half Marathon Championships, Muhitira will be seeking for a minimal to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games slated for August 5-21. The top 15 athletes in the race will get tickets for the summer Games.

The 2nd meeting was held in San Giogiosu, Italy, on January 6, Edinburg (Great Britain) held the 3rd on January 9 while the 4th was in Antrim (Northern Ireland) on January 16.

Other such meetings were held on January 17 in Seville (Spain), Elgoibar (Spain) on January 24 and the most recent was in San Vittore Oloma, Italy on January 31.

The Kenya National Cross Country Championship is expected to attract athletes from six countries including Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Sudan, Burundi and hosts Kenya.

Kenya’s women team will be led by the Chebet sisters, Sandra and Emily, while in the men’s fray, it will be reigning World Cross Country Champion, Geoffrey Kamworor and three time national champion, Bedan Karoki.

Uganda is expected to confirm the names of their participants with 2014 World Mountain Running Champion Isaac Kiprop and Soyekwo Kibet expected on the list.

Ethiopia have already registered the pair of Yigerem Demelash, the 2012 World Junior 10,000 metres champion, and Birhan Mihretu, who will be competing in the senior men 10km and junior women 6km respectively.

Burundi national cross-country champion Vianney Ndiho and Onesphore Nzikwinkunda will also be present in Nairobi while Tanzania will be represented by Bagamoyo Marathon Champion, Gabriel Gerald and Angelina Daniel Tsere in the senior men and women categories respectively.

Sudan will be represented by Fathi Ahmed Adam in the senior men and Abubaker Abdalla in the junior men’s 8km.

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