Edith Masai wins the World short course title in Dublin - 2002 (Getty Images) © Copyright
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Kosgei predicts Kenyan fireworks at the World Cross Country Championships

Veteran Kenyan Head Coach Mike Kosgei, who has piloted the national team to so much international success over the years, has predicted a ‘high speed’ Kenyan team assault on the 31st IAAF World Cross Country Championhips in Lausanne this weekend (29-30 March).

Answering questions on the Kenyan team’s recent training camp at Embu and their ambitions in Lausanne, Mike Kosgei confirmed –

“We trained every day except for Sundays. Normally two times a day, but when there was a demanding training at 10 o’clock - this is always our main training – they had to go already at 6 for a warmup. Every week there were between two and three hard workouts: hillwork, fartlek and 10 km high speed.”

Let us take the week from 10th until 15th March: Monday: long run (50 min for the junior women, 1:20 h for the men), Tuesday: fartlek (men: 3 x 3 min, 3 x 2 min and 3 x 1 min; women: 2 x 3 min, 2 x 2 min and 2 x 1 min), Wednesday: regeneration, Thurday: relay (all athletes had to run 800 m, 400 m and 200 m), Friday: 1 h medium pace, Saturday: long run (between 15 and 25 km).”

The last tough training before leaving for Switzerland was last Saturday, one week before the competition: between 10 times 150 m for the junior girls and 25 times 250 m for the men.”

“For us cross country is a team event. Like football: every athlete has to know exactly how the other one will react in a certain situation. The weaker ones will be assigned to be pacemakers. One thing is for sure: We will start the 4 km men’s race on Saturday with a lot of firework and very high speed. If Kenenisa Bekele or anybody else tries to run again both of the races, at least his legs will be very, very tired on Sunday.”

Jürg Wirz for the IAAF

STOP PRESS - Vivian Cheruiyot - the recurrence of a right leg injury has forced the withdrawal of the 2000 World XC junior women's winner from the senior 4km race, and she will not be replaced, the Kenyan Federation announced 26 March.

Kenyan Team line up in Lausanne -


4 km: John Kibowen, Thomas Kiplitan, David Kilel, Benjamin Limo, Mike Kipyego, Evans Kipchumba.

2 km: John Cheruiyot Korir, Paul Koech, Abraham Cherono, Sammy Kipketer, Patrick Ivuti, Richard Limo.

Junior Men: Eliud Kipchoge, Moses Kimosop, Solomon Busiendich, Kipkorir Chepkwony, Agustine Choge, Barnaba Kosgei.


4 km: Isabella Ochichi, Edith Masai, Prisca Jepleting, Jane Gakunyi, Viola Kibiwot. Vivian Cheruiyot - injured.

8 km: Alice Timbilil, Pamela Chepchumba, Jepkorir Aiyabei, Elizabeth Rumokal, Magdaline Chemjor, Caroline Cheptanui.

Junior Women: Jepchumba Koech, Emily Chebet, Peninah Jepchumba, Chemutai Rionotukei, Gladys Chepweno, Sharon Kipsang.