• "I’m looking forward to a top six finish,” said Sammy Nyokaye.
• "We want to restore Gusii region’s lost glory in athletics,” said Dickson Simba.
Nyanza South athletes arrived in Nairobi on Thursday and vowed to grab Team Kenya slots to the Africa Cross Country Championships when the national trials go down at the Ngong Race Course on Saturday.
Led by experienced road racer Sammy Nyokaye, the athletes vowed to give their opponents a run for their money.
"I’m more mentally prepared than last year. I have been working on speed and endurance for the last two weeks. I’m looking forward to a top six finish,” said Nyokaye, a marathon pace maker with a personal best of 28:40 over 10km.
“I know it’s not going to be easy but I’m equal to the task. The international athletes will give us motivation to do well. I plan to run with them from the front,” said the diminutive athlete who trains at Mochenwa in Nyamira County.
Nyokaye finished second during the Nyanza South cross country held at Kisii Golf Course two weeks ago. The race was won by Vincent Kipkurui while Joseph Simba finished third.
Simba said he is targeting a top ten finish. “My training was good. I have improved on hill running which was a problem during the regionals. I’m going to give my best and get good results at the nationals. We want to restore Gusii region’s lost glory in athletics,” said Simba.
Winifridah Moseti, the Nyanza South women’s 10km champion said she wants to make the Kenyan team that will travel to Lome, Togo for the continental championships in May.
“I have not worked on my speed work as I wanted, but overall, I have trained well. My target in Nairobi is to improve on my time and possibly make the team which is going to Togo,” said the experienced marathoner.
Nyanza South will also field a strong field in the junior men and women races. Junior international Jane Ghati of Eluni Academy, Mary Nyaboke, Betty Chelanga and Maria Ghati will lead the strong line up in the junior women’s race.
Felix Boera and Edwin Kisaisa will spearhead the junior men’s hunt for top honours.