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East Africa tipped to dominate weekend race

14 February 2014, 11:34

Nairobi - All eyes will be on Sh1.3 million prize money when the highly-anticipated IAAF Permit/AK national cross country championships kicks-off on Saturday at Uhuru Gardens.

International athletes drawn from Middle East's Bahrain, Ethiopia, Eritrea and neighbouring Uganda have since arrived for the event.

The battle for Sh1.3 million will pit men in the 12km race, of which the competition looks intense as Ethiopia and Kenya long distance runners have scores to settle in the track.

Though long distance running is a tradition for Kenya, Ethiopians have shown little respect to their Kenyan counterparts when it comes to such lucrative road races.

One such Ethiopian marathon specialist to be carefully monitored is 23-year-old Tadelech Bekele Alemu, who won the 2012 Ceské Budejovice Half Marathon in the Czech Republic.

Alemu, who will be competing in the 8km race, is being accompanied by countryman Gemuchu Edeo Kelo, who will compete in the men’s 12km race.

Eritrea, who are also a threat in this competition will look up to Nguse Amlesom.

As for the hosts, the country will look forward to Kenya Prisons’ Beatrice Mutai, who will compete in the senior women's 8km.

Mutai will be complemented by junior's  Moses Mukono, who will participate in the 8km while Agnes Chebet will battle out in the junior women's 6km event.

Not to be outdone will be Uganda's Geoffrey Kusuro, who finished 19th at the 2009 World Cross country Championships.

Kusuro is also the first African athlete to win the World Mountain Running Championships in 2009.

– CAJ News

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