• Nemchenko, who is on her first visit to the country, expects an interesting race.
• Meanwhile, the Tanzanian pair of John Nahhay and Grace Jackson Charles, who are making their debuts at Sirikwa, hope to use the event as part of their training programme with the Paris Olympics as the end game.
Germany international Hendrik Pfeiffer expects to ruffle some feathers when he parades at the third edition of Sirikwa Classic Cross Country set for this Saturday at Lobo Village, Eldoret.
Pfeiffer was among the first foreign athletes to arrive on Thursday, alongside Ukraine’s Maryana Nemchenko and Romanian Stefan Gavril.
“This is my 13th time in Kenya and the second at this race. It is great to start my two months of training with such a high-level competition,” said Pfeiffer.
“My shape is very good so far and I think I will try to keep up with the Kenyans. I first ran here in 2022 and I’m far much in terms of shape.”
Nemchenko, who is on her first visit to the country, expects an interesting race.
“I hope it will be an interesting race, being my first time in Kenya. After the race, I will head to Iten for training. Running cross country is new for me. I ran my first in Europe but this is the biggest of them all. I hope the course is not so hilly but we shall see on Saturday,” said Nemchenko.
Romanian Gavril wants to emerge top of the Europeans come Saturday.
“I expect to compete against the Kenyans and the Ethiopians. But I want to see what will happen (before then) now that I have a had a long flight here,” he said.
“I have only seen the startlist for foreign runners. I am not aware of how many and who among the Kenyans will be running. I want to rank top among the European athletes.”
Meanwhile, the Tanzanian duo of John Nahhay and Grace Jackson Charles, who are making their debuts at Sirikwa, hope to use the event as part of their training programme with the Paris Olympics as the end game.
“I have been training hard back at home and I, therefore, hope to run well. I want to run well as part of my ahead of the Paris Olympic Games,” said Nahhay, who hopes to represent Tanzania in the 5,000m and 10,000m races.
Grace talked of a tough journey to Eldoret but still expects to put in a performance.
“The journey has been great. I want to post great results even though this is my first time here,” she said.