There will be no love lost on Sunday when world cross country champion Geoffrey Kamworor and silver medallist Bedan Karoki of Kenya renew their rivalry at the 26th Discovery Cross Country Championships in Eldoret.
The two are good friends but that will count for nothing as they make their first battle before facing off again at the London Marathon on April 23.
Coach David Letting, who is the race organizer, said the two great friends, who claimed the first two places at the 2016 World Half Marathon, have confirmed to him that they will compete in the renowned race.
“We have signed up the two for the race and it will be crucial to them to see how they will fair on before the marathon in London,” he said.
Also in the men’s 10km race is Clement Lagat, who finished second last year and the 2015 Diamond League steeple winner Jairus Birech.
The reigning world cross country champion Agnes Tirop is set to battle the 2009 world cross country champion Florence Kiplagat and Olympic marathon champion Jemimah Sumgong in the women’s 10km race.
Karoki will be making his debut at the 42km race at this year London Marathon that will be held on April 23.
The Japan-based athlete who has a personal best of 59:14 that he ran behind the eventual winner Geoffrey Kamworor who crossed the tape in a time of 59:10 at the Cardiff Half Marathon.
Karoki, who turns 27 years old in August, will be out to battle with his friend Kamworor and the Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele.
The Ethiopian, however, is facing a race against time to recover from a waist injury he sustained while competing at the Dubai marathon last week.
Bekele is widely regarded as the greatest distance runner of all time and world record holder over 10,000 and 5,000 meters, ran two hours, three minutes and three seconds when winning Berlin last September, six seconds outside Dennis Kimetto’s world record of 2:02:57 set on the same course in 2014.
Another Kenyan Abel Kirui, who is fresh from winning the Chicago Marathon in October last year, is also signed up to compete in London and so is Amsterdam Marathon winner Daniel Wanjiru. Enditem
Source: John Kwoba, Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh