• Kipkurui's training mates Richard Kimunyan and Emmanuel Kiplagat will compete in 10,000m.
• A quality field is expected at Nyayo Stadium with most foreign-based in town for the event.
Reigning world cross-country champion Ishmail Kipkurui will lead a strong field in 5,000m at the national athletics trials starting Friday at the Nyayo Nationa Stadium.
The two-day event has attracted 160 athletes with the World Athletics Championships tickets at stake. The World Championships will run from August 19-27 in Budapest, Hungary.
Kipkurui's training mates Richard Kimunyan and Emmanuel Kiplagat will compete in 10,000m.
Kipkurui, a Form 3 student at Sinonin Secondary School in Baringo County, won the 3,000m title in 7:41.38 during the Melbourne Track Classic. His coach, Barnaba Kitilit, said his charges are ready after an intense training period.
“The races will be very competitive and unpredictable at the same time. Anybody can win. The challenge for the slots is real and they have to up their game for them to make the team to Budapest,” Kitilit said.
Kipkurui is best remembered for ending Kenya's 12-year drought in Junior World Cross country after he cruised to victory in Bathurst, Australia. Geoffrey Kamworor was the last junior to win the title in 2011, in Span, where he crossed the finish line in 22:07.
A quality field is expected at Nyayo Stadium with most foreign-based in town for the event.
“The likes of Kimunyan arrived in the country on time in readiness for the race. They have already acclimatised to the weather ahead of the trials,” he said.