NAIROBI, October 27 – Former world junior cross country champion, Pauline Korikwiang has set her sights on the 2016 Olympics Games where she will be eying selection in the women’s 10,000m.
Korikwiang, who finished second in Sunday’s Nairobi Stanchart Marathon 21km race, will use the upcoming 2015 National Cross Country series as part of her build up for the Olympics Trials scheduled for July 29 to August 2 next year.
The Kenya Defence Forces athlete, who is still finding her way back to the sport after returning from maternity break, is hoping to represent the country at next year’s Africa Cross Country Championships in Yaounde, Cameroon.
“I want to use the cross county as a preparation for Olympics but I will select two competitive races especially in Eldoret before the Trials and I hope I will make the team to Africa Cross Championships.
“I know it will be very competitive but with training everything will be easy. I’m good in Cross Country than track so I’m in good shape this season to finish top,” Korikwiang, who is recovering from a hip injury told Capital Sport.
The 27-year-old, who won the 5000m title at the World Military Games in early October, is confident she will be fit to take on her mentor and world champion, Vivian Cheruiyot in the 25-lap race where Kenya will be seeking to clinch the title for the first time.
However, the mother of one will be out to work on her finishing power as she seeks to improve on her personal best of 31:06.29 ran in Ostrava in 2010 and improve on her eighth finish at the Beijing World Championships Trials.
“I will be the happiest if I make it to the Olympics. If I do, my target will be a podium finish. When I was a junior, I was following in Cheruiyot’s (Vivian) footsteps and one day I will be like her,” she stated.
Korikwiang who won the Ndakaini Half Marathon in September, declared her intentions to debut the ultimate distance race in the next two years.
“I will join full marathon in 2017 since it requires a lot of time to train. Stanchart was my second half marathon and I’m so happy I finished second and improve my time. I have been out for long but I’m now back.”
Korikwiang burst into limelight when she won the 2006 World Cross junior women title in Fukuoka ahead of Veronica Nyaruai.