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World champ Kamworor to face rival Karoki

World Cross champion Geoffrey Kamworor celebrates after winning the National Police Service Cross Country Championships at Nairobi's Rce Course. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

World Cross champion Geoffrey Kamworor celebrates after winning the National Police Service Cross Country Championships at Nairobi’s Rce Course. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

NAIROBI, February 10th – World cross country champion Geoffrey Kamworor is set to renew his fierce rivalry with compatriot Bedan Karoki in Saturday’s Kenyan trials for  African cross country championships slatted for March in Cameroon.

The trials, which act as the penultimate round of the 2015-2016 IAAF Cross Country Permit series, has attracted 15 elite athletes from more than eight African countries, including Uganda which will host the world cross country championships in 2017.

Kamworor, who is using the event to prepare for his world half-marathon title defence in Cardiff, Wales, on March 26, is looking to avenge last year’s defeat when Karoki outran him at the finish line.

“This is the kind of challenge I always aspire to… and it makes me feel great meeting some of the finest distance runners in the world,” said Kamworor, who promised a front-running assault.

“I shall target victory from the front and I will be happy to meet my great rival, Karoki and the rest of the field.”

The race will also include Ethiopia’s 2012 world junior 10,000m champion Yigerem Demelash and Isaac Kiprop, the 2014 world marathon running champion from Uganda.

Others are Sudan’s Fathi Ahmed Adan and Vianney Ndiho, the reigning Burundi cross country champion.

Athletics Kenya will use the meeting to select the national team for the March 12 African cross country championships in Yaounde, Cameroon.

The IAAF cross country permit series kicked off in Spain last November, and ends at the Almond Blossom cross country in Albufeira, Portugal on February 21.

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