The 2013 World and 2012 Olympic marathon champion Stephen Kiprotich, is leading Ugandan athletes who have pitched camps in Iten and Kaptagat to prepare for the World Cross Country Championships that will be held at the Kololo Ceremonial ground in Kampala.
Kiprotich, who has represented Uganda in cross country, managed 6th position at the 2011 world cross meeting in Punta Umbria, Spain but vowed to take his team to the top position on home soil.
“We are the host and we have to prove our worthy when we tackle the world. Hosting such big event and we don’t showcase the better side of us will not be good,” said Kiprotich at his Global Sports Communication training camp in kaptagat, Kenya.
Training in Kenya with Kenyan athletes who some of them will run against, he is optimistic that he will do his best though he was not sure who will be flying Kenyan flags to his country since Kenya has not selected her team for the event.
With 47 days to go, Kenya will naming her team on 18th February to face the world. Kiprotich trains together with title defending champion Geoffrey Kipsang kamworor.
“I really don’t know who will give us too much challenge since Kenya has not named its team. Even though the best team will be named, we will take home ground advantage to shine,” said the 2011 Enschede marathon champion.
The Kapchorwa born runner has been dominant in 42km and coming down to 10km will be a challenge for him.
“Our intention as a team is to take all medals on offer in our home soil. We know it will not easy especially me who has been competing in 42km distance and coming down to 10km,” added Kiprotich who will be competing alongside his cousin Joshua Cheptegei who won the national title last month.
In that race Kiprotich was beaten to fifth place finishing behind Cheptegei (29:02), Philip Kipyeko (29:24), Abdallah Kibet Mande (29:40), Timothy Toroitich (29:42) for top six positions.
The team selection was also done at the Kololo grounds the same venue that the championships will be held on the 26 of March.