NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s Kiprono Menjo hopes his performance at
the sixth edition of the Okpekpe International 10km in Japan on
Sunday will help his bid to secure a place in the Kenya team to
the Africa Championships in Asaba, Nigeria in August.
Menjo, who has not
competed for Kenya in the last six years, wants to make a
comeback but knows a horde of upcoming youngsters will be keen
to claim a berth in the chocking 10,000m field.
“It is very hard to
get a chance to run for Kenya in track competition. That is why
majority of athletes move to road race. But I want to return
home and challenge for a slot in the Kenya team,” said Menjo.
“Kenya needs to
reclaim its glory from Ethiopia and Uganda in the distance races
and experience will be a weapon,” he said.
Head coach Julius
Kirwa believes Kenya will need a blend of young and experienced
runners in the 5,000 and 10,000m races to stop the Ethiopians.
“The tide has been
to the Ethiopian favor of late. But we are back to the drawing
board after the Commonwealth Games and we hope it will bear
fruits in the Africa Championships,” said Kirwa Saturday from
In Japan, Menjo will
face challenge from John Kiprono Langat, who brings a 27:58
lifetime best to the line set in 2015.
More recently he
clocked 29:17 at home in Nyahururu. Another Kenyan, Victor Chumo,
finished second at the Venloop Half Marathon in March, clocking
However, Menjo, who
is 38, is one of the fastest men ever over the distance, with a
27:04 lifetime best. That was in 2010. In January he clocked
28:28 in Valencia. The men’s course record stands at 28:35, set
by Teshome Mekonen Asafah in 2014.