I aim to stun favourites at Ngong, says Karoki
Japan-based Kenyan long distance runner Bedan Karoki says he will not just be making numbers during Saturday’s National Cross Country Championships at the Ngong Race Course, Nairobi.
The 2015 World Cross Country silver medalist says adding another national title to his name is something he is keen on doing.
Having won the national title in three occasions, 2012, 2014 and 2015, Karoki says while the attention might be on other athletes, he too will be going for the win.
“I have won national titles before, I know what it takes to win. So come Saturday, I will be in the mix just like any other athlete,” Karoki told People Sport.
Coming to the national event, the athlete who has been living in Japan for the last 15 years clocked 29:45.1 to win the Central Region Cross Country championships in Ol Kalou, Nyandarua last Saturday.
While he is not keen on representing the country at the Africa Cross Country Championships set for March 7 in Lome, Togo, for the 2016 World Half Marathon silver medallist, winning yet another national title will excite him.
“I know there are top athletes especially from the disciplined forces who have been tipped as favourites to win the title on Saturday. What I want to say is: Don’t be deceived, expect upsets,” he predicted.
The 30-year-old is upbeat and optimistic of winning an olympic medal at his second ‘home’ Tokyo during the Summer Games in August.
For him, making it to a third Olympic Games remains his priority; he finished fifth and seventh respectively at the 2012 and 2016 events.
Karoki despite being named in the reserve list for Kenya’s marathon team for Tokyo, he believes he has more than one root to the Olympics.
“I want to squeeze into the final marathon team. But if that doesn’t happen, I will have to fight it out on the track. 10,000m is also my race.
I believe I will make it,” said the athlete who last year moved from the capital Tokyo and now resides in Aichi, a Japanese prefecture in central Honshu Island.
Since the lucrative RAK Half Marathon in the Middle East that was initially planned for February 19 was postponed due to the covid-19 pandemic, Karoki is waiting for major races to take part in.
“I had prepared well for RAK half marathon, it is unfortunate it will not happen due to the pandemic. I have to keep training as a I wait for other races,”
Karoki also changed employers and now runs for Toyota company, having previously turned up for DeNa company limited in Tokyo.