• Kasait, the 2013 World Youth champion from Donetsk, Ukraine partners Evans Kipkorir, Alex Ngeno and Loice Chemunung.
• Prisons 10,000m champion Peter Emase and Africa Beach Games Half Marathon silver medallist Charles Muneria will be the favourites in the senior men's 10km race.
World 1,500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot and two-time world U-20 3,000m steeplechase champion Celliphine Chespol will be the key attraction at the Kenya Prisons Service cross country championships set for tomorrow at the Prisons Staff Training College, Ruiru.
Cheruiyot, a track specialist, will anchor the Prisons headquarters' mixed relay as part of preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The two-time Africa silver medallist will team up with 2014 world 800m junior champion Margaret Nyairera, the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist from Gold Coast, Australia two years ago as well as Sammy Rugut and Violet Jepkemboi.
They face competition from a PSTC team led by Lilian Kasait, the 2017 World Cross bronze medallist. Kasait, the 2013 World Youth champion from Donetsk, Ukraine partners Evans Kipkorir, Alex Ngeno and Loice Chemunung.
Prisons' 10,000m champion Peter Emase and Africa Beach Games Half Marathon silver medallist Charles Muneria will be the favourites in the senior men's 10km race. They will be battling against the likes of 2012 London Olympics 5,000m bronze medallist Thomas Longosiwa, 2010 Commonwealth Games 1,500m champion Silas Kiplagat and former Africa 10,000m silver medallist Wilfred Kimitei.
Kimitei, a former First Lady Half Marathon champion, said his focus will be to get good results as he chases an Olympic slot in 10,000m. Speaking in Eldoret en-route to Ruiru from his Iten training base, Kimitei said: “I am not so good in cross country but I know I will run a good race on Saturday.”
The Iten Half marathon champion, who spent the 2019 season on the sidelines due to an injury, remains optimistic of clinching the Prisons title. “2019 was not a good year for me after suffering a tendon injury but I have recovered fully and I hope for better results in the new season,” added Kimitei, who will be representing Nyanza Region.
Also expected are 2007 world marathon champion Luke Kibet of PHQ, Emmanuel Ngatuny (PHQ), Daniel Too (Nairobi), Boaz Kiprugut (Nairobi), 2017 Paris marathon champion Mark Korir (Eastern) and Fredrick Musyoki (Coast).
In the women's category, defending champion Chespol, who is also the department's 5,000m champion, faces a stern test from Kasait, marathoner Visiline Jepkesho and Nancy Kimaiyo (Nyanza), Alice Mogire (Nairobi), Tabitha Wambui (Central) and Jackline Wambui (Eastern).
Veteran Prisons coach Mwaniki said over 150 athletes are expected to take part in the one-day event as the department selects a team to the national championships/trials on February 8, where Kenya will select a team to the Africa Cross Country Championships set for Lome, Togo on March 1.