NAIROBI, December 16- Home girls Nancy Nzisa and Eunice Kioko will be the star attractions when Machakos host the final Athletics Kenya cross country race of the year this Saturday.
More than 500 athletes are expected to grace the meet which is the fifth round in the seven series event that will also provide platforms for new contestants with participants expected from the hosting region of Southern, Central, Nairobi and the Eastern regions.
The duo of Nzisa and Kioko, who have been consistent should expect to challenge the big guns on their home turf.
Peter Wambua, Fredrick Musyoki and Ephrahim Mwangi will take into the senior men battle where Cleophas Ngetich, Dominic Kiptarus and Emmanuel Kipsang are the frontrunners after winning in the four previous legs.
In the senior women’s category, Caroline Chepkoech, Sheila Chepkirui and Pauline Korikwiang have claimed the podium positions- Chepkoech in Kangaru and in Nyahururu while Chepkirui won in Nairobi when the series started. Korikwiang triumphed in Iten early this month.
Nzisa has finished second twice in Nairobi and Embu while Kioko has claimed the 5th position two times in Nairobi and Embu while Mary Njoki Ndung’u and Pauline Wangui have been in vintage form.
Sandra Chebet (Nairobi and Iten), Cecilia Maria (Kangaru) and Irene Chepkemoi are the front-runners in junior women 6kilometres so far where Alfred Ngeno (Nairobi), Cyrus Loikong (Kangaru), Andrew Lorot (Nyahururu) and Peter Kipserem (Iten) boast of a single victory each in the previous four weekend competitions.
Other favourites in the junior battle ground include Nicholas Kemei who finished second in Iten, Moses Koech, runners up in Nyahururu and Nicholas Kosilbet and Joshua Nakeri, second and third in Kangaru and Nyahururu.
Immaculate Chepkirui, Veronica Masya, Miriam Cherop and Emily Chebet are other serious contestants for the junior women overall title alongside Betty Chepkemoi and Daisy Jepkemei after finishing top in Nairobi, Kangaru, Nyahururu and Iten in that order.
The remaining two races will be held in Kapsokwony on January 2 and Sotik a week later.