NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
African cross country champion Alice Aprot is timid
over her expectations at the world cross country championships in
Kampala, Uganda on March 26.
Aprot, 23, is returning to Kampala after she excelled at the
continental event hosted in the Ugandan capital back in 2014.
However, she is doubtful of her fitness as she started training just
a month ago after she graduated from the Kenya Prisons Warders
“I was doing police training at the Prisons training school. But I
still managed to run well and made third position in the national
trials. However, running in Kampala, will be different because Kenya
team is very competitive and so will be Uganda and Ethiopia.
“I need to be at the top of my game. The championships in Kampala
have come a month too early for me. But I’m not giving up. I will
fight hard for gold,” said Aprot Thursday in Embu, where the Kenya
team, has pitched camp.
Aprot wants to emulate her senior brother Joseph Ebuya, who in 2010
in Punta Umbria, Spain, won the senior men’s world cross country
title. She also remained confident Kenya will win the team title
after losing it at the last championships in Guiyang, China.
With 10 days to go the International Association of Athletics
Federations (IAAF) has announced the event in Kampala will be the
biggest edition of the championships since 2006. An expected 557
athletes from 60 teams are set to compete in the one-day event
surpassing the figures from the past six editions.
Those figures include the four athletes who are set to represent an
Athlete Refugee Team in the mixed relay. Guided by team leader Tegla
Loroupe, the squad includes Olympian Paulo Amotun Lokoro, who was
part of the Refugee Olympic Team in Rio last summer.
In total, 13 teams are set to contest the mixed relay, the latest
innovation for the oldest IAAF World Athletics Series event. Each
team comprises two men and two women, who will each run a two-kilometer
The IAAF Cross Country Permit series, spread across seven meetings
from November 2016 to February 2017, has whetted the appetite for
the forthcoming championships and many of the top performers on the
circuit are set to compete in Kampala.
Aweke Ayalew, winner of the men’s races in Burgos and Seville, will
be aiming to win Bahrain’s first individual medal at the World
Cross, having earned a team bronze medal in 2015.
Senbere Teferei, also a winner in Burgos and Seville, will be joined
on the Ethiopian team by Muktar Edris, winner of the Campaccio
meeting earlier this year. Teenager Selemon Barega, who triumphed at
the Cinque Mulini meeting at the end of January, is Ethiopia’s
leading medal hope in the U20 men’ s race.
Uganda’s Timothy Toroitich, who won convincingly in Alcobendas last
November, will captain the host nation’s team, while Almond Blossom
winner Irene Cheptai forms part of a strong Kenyan senior women’s