Mneria anticipates stiff competition in Prisons Cross Country defence
Defending champion Charles Yosei Mneria of Central region will lead a star-studded line up in the men’s 10km when the Kenya Prison Service Cross Country Championship takes place at the Prisons Staff Training College (PSTC), Ruiru on Saturday.
The former Africa Cross Country bronze medallist says he expects stiff competition from team mates during the event, but insists he is in good shape and will be in no mood to lose his title.
Mneria who won the the second leg of the Athletics Kenya Cross Country meeting at the Koitalel Samoei University in Nandi last month, says his preparations have been good going to this Saturday’s championship.
He hopes to make a hat-trick of Prisons Cross Country titles, but expects 2017 champion Cornelius Kangogo who will be representing North Eastern as well as the 2016 Africa 10,000m silver medallist Wilfred Kimitei of Nyanza to give him a run for his money.
“To be honest, I am in great shape going to this Saturday’s race. I have a very important season ahead.
My priority is to to defend my title again, however, I know it won’t be easy but I am going to do my best and hopefully carry the day,” said Mneria who won the Nandi senior men’s 10km title in 30:38.3 ahead of Phenus Kipleting (30:40.3) and Nicholas Kimeli (30:43.2), who completed the podium.
Others in the starting list for the Saturday race are the 2007 world marathon champion Luke Kibet, Prisons 10,000m champion Peter Emase (Rift Valley), Boaz Kiprugut (Nairobi) and former Olympic Games 5000m bronze medallist Thomas Longosiwa (Western).
Kenya Prisons Service will use the championship to select their team for the national championships that will also act as trials for the Africa Cross Country Championships to be held in Lome, Togo.