Kenya Cross country team at Kigari Teachers Collage, Embu County on March 18, 2015 ahead of team's departure for World Cross Country Championship in Guiyang, China. PHOTO/DENNIS OKEYO

Kenya Cross country team at Kigari Teachers Collage, Embu County on March 18, 2015 ahead of team?s departure for World Cross Country Championship in Guiyang, China. PHOTO/DENNIS OKEYO

Kenya and Ethiopia are by far the most successful countries in the world cross country championships? history, having won 123 of the 162 available team titles.

The two nations have met 121 times where both have fielded full teams, with Kenya beating Ethiopia 79-42. Kenya has won five individual senior women?s titles and are expected to re-affirm their supremacy in Guiyang. The 2015 squad looks fired up to extend its dominance, banking on a mix of upstarts and the experienced athletes.

Yesterday, the 24-member team had a light training at Uhuru Gardens along Lang?ata Road, then returned to YMCA South C hostels before leaving Jomo Kenyatta International Airport aboard Ethiopian Airlines at 7:35pm to Guangzhou, where they made a stop-over and then connected to Guiyang.

Kipsang Kamworor, the team captain and 2011 world cross country junior champion, said they were under no pressure to perform well.

?What remains now is to go and make our nation proud in China. We will give our best since we have all trained well and together and remain focused on the task ahead,? said Kamworor.

Janet Kisa, the Commonwealth 5000m and African cross-country silver medallist, is the women?s team captain.

Athletics Kenya (AK) President Isaiah Kiplagat said he was confident the team can re-enact the 2010 brilliant show.

?We stepped down from eight (gold medals) in Poland in 2010 to seven in 2013 and back to eight last year in Africa. This team should go there and bring all gold medals, keep the ones we won and win back the one (8km junior) we lost last time.?

By JONATHAN KOMEN, The Standard

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