The 1st of October, this weekend, will mark the beginning of another world championships event, the World Road Running Championships.
Looking at the Kenyan team heading there, the team selectors must have taken the saying, “The first impression is the lasting impression,” seriously. The team looks formidable, and Kenya is set to dominate this event on its first edition like they have been doing with the World Cross Country Championships in recent years.
Fresh from winning two gold medals at the Budapest World Championships, the world record holder of the 1500m, the one mile, and the 5000m track events, Faith Kipyegon will arguably be the biggest star at the championships. She will be taking part in the women’s one-mile road race against a field that includes Ethiopia’s Diribe Welteji, Hirut Meshesha, and Freweyni Hailu.
As the track stars take to the roads, it looks certain that the newly ratified world record (4:27.97) of USA’s Nikki Hiltz will not remain standing at the end of this race. Accompanying Kipyegon in Kenyan uniform will be Nelly Chepchirchir.
World U20 record holder for the men’s mile of 3:48.06, Reynold Cheruiyot, will represent the country in the men’s version of the race. He will be running alongside his compatriot, Kyumbe Munguti.
With the other 5000m medalists from Budapest being committed elsewhere –Kipyegon running in the 1-mile race and Sifan Hassan focusing on the Chicago Marathon- it leaves Kenya’s Beatrice Chebet as the favorite to take gold in the 5K race. With her third fastest time in history, 14:05.92 on track, Chebet will be up against the women’s world record holder for the 5K event, Ejgayehu Taye of Ethiopia, who holds it at 14:19.
The men’s 5km squad is led by Nicholas Kipkorir, whose time of 12:55 makes him the fourth fastest 5km runner of all time. But, he will be running against the world record holder over the distance, Ethiopia’s Berihu Aregawi, who holds the record at 12:49, and Yomif Kejelcha, who confirmed his great form by running a new Ethiopian national record for the 3000m at the Diamond League final where they both dived across the finish line with Jakob Ingebrigtsen who was later given 7:23.63 for the win against Kejelcha’s 7:23.64.
In the women’s half marathon, the eyes of Kenyan fans will be on Peres Jepchirchir, who has often delivered gold for the country at the major championships. She has already won world half marathon titles twice, in 2016 and…