•Alongside Jeruto, the mixed relay team to the Africa Cross Country Championships includes Hellen Obiri, Timothy Cheruiyot, Abel Kipsang, Newton Kipkirui and Jarinter Wawia.
•She described the mixed relay team as definite candidates for a gold medal in Lome.
World under-18 800m silver medalist Lydia Jeruto considers herself privileged to make Kenya's mixed relay team to the Africa Cross Country Championships alongside seasoned and accomplished runners.
The Baringo-based runner was selected alongside world 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri, world 1,500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot, All Africa Games 800m finalist Abel Kipsang, Jarinter Wawia and Newton Kipkirui.
“I never thought I could make the team with such names but it was my determination to do so because I wanted to run for the country after missing out on various races due to the coronavirus," Jeruto said.
Jeruto initially failed to qualify for the National Cross Country Championships after a disappointing 32nd-place finish at Discovery Cross Country Championships on January 31 at the Eldoret Sports Club.
However, she decided to compete in the mixed cross country relay category after consulting with her coach, Barnabas Kitilit.
She is now determined to rectify her poor showing in Eldoret with a better performance at the continental showpiece, set for March 7 in Lome, Togo.
“It was not easy for me after I missed the cut for the Central Rift team. So, I am lucky to be named in Team Kenya to battle for a medal in Lome. Now that the world has opened for championships, it will be the greatest time for me to prove my worth," the Torongo Athletics Camp runner said.
She described the mixed relay team as classy and definite candidates for a gold medal in Lome.
“With such great men and women like Cheruiyot and Obiri, we have a great combination and we will surely come home with a title to celebrate as a country.”