World U20 10,000m champion Rhonex Kipruto is confirmed for the Valencia Ibercaja 10km road race on Jan. 12 in Spain
Rhonex Kipruto, who is eyeing to make the Kenya team to the Tokyo Olympics, will use the road race in Valencia to gauge his endurance before returning to the track to prepare for the explosive Kenya trials.
"The Olympics is the main target for me this year. However, to attain the best fitness, I need to gauge myself against top runners and this platform will be provided in Valencia, which I hope to take up the challenge in my strides," Kipruto on Sunday.
Kipruto will be up against European record-holder Julien Wanders from Switzerland (27:25), Uganda's Stephen Kissa (27:13) and reigning champion Chala Regasa from Ethiopia (27:23). Brits Callum Hawkins (28:55) and Ben Connor (28:56) are also confirmed.
"It is a strong line-up and I have to be in my best form. I have rested enough since the World Championships in Doha and I will hope for some fast time in Valencia," he added.
The women's line-up is headed by Kenya's Sheila Chepkirui (29:57), Israel's European 10,000m champion Lonah Chemtai Salpeter (30:05) and Kenya's Norah Jeruto (30:07).
Chepkirui holds Africa's all-time best record and is the world leader in the 10,000m distance. But she will have no chance if she looks down upon the caliber of opposition facing her in Valencia.
"I am really happy with my performance in 2019, especially the fast time in Durban, as it was my first road race in South Africa," said Chepkirui.
"I usually stay at the back in the beginning and then make my move closer to the race finish. It is the same strategy I will apply to Valencia. However, I will try to stay with the leading pack," said Chepkirui.
Chepkirui, who was seventh at the World Championships in London back in 2017, hopes to make the Kenya team to the Olympics in the 10,000m and hopes a good performance in Valencia will earn her slot in the team.
posted Friday January 10th