Kibiwott Kandie eyes another KDF X-country title, as part of his preparations for the track season

World Half Marathon Championships silver medalist Kibiwott Kandie intends to use the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) Cross Country Championships on Friday at Moi Air Base as part of his preparations for the track season.

Kandie, who will be seeking his fourth consecutive KDF title, said that he will focus on the 10,000 meters this season as he targets the Commonwealth Games and World Athletics Championships.

The World Athletics Championships will be held on July 15 to July 24 in Oregon, United States, while the Commonwealth Games are due on July 28 to August 8 in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Iten-based Kandie said that he failed to perform as expected last year after he fell short in training. A nagging right knee injury also worsened things for the former half marathon world record holder.

“I think I over strained and that affected my performance,” said Kandie, who started 2021 with victory in the 10,000m in a personal best of 28:28.0 at the Athletics Kenya Weekend Meeting in February.

Familiar foes

Kandie said running under 29 minutes last year was a clear indication he can do well on the track.

At the same time, reigning World Cross Country Championship winner Hellen Obiri will be seeking her fifth KDF crown on Friday.

Obiri, the world 5,000m champion, recaptured the title in January last year when she beat defending champion Joyce Chepkemoi to second place in 33 minutes 25.1 seconds.

Sheila Chepkurui completed the podium followed by Nesphine Chepleting and Irene Kamais in fourth and fifth place, respectively.

Obiri, the Olympic 5,000m silver medalist, claimed previous wins in 2014, 2017 and 2019.

Obiri, Chepkemoi, Chepkurui, Chepleting and Kamais will be joined by former champion Joycilline Jepkopsgei, who is fresh from winning the London Marathon in October.

KDF first vice chairman Alfred Olenawangas said the event will have familiar faces.

“We expect a full house with most of our athletes having resumed training ahead of the busy 2022 season,” he said.

posted Wednesday January 5th
by Ayumba Ayodi