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Foreign athletes jet in the country for Sirikwa Cross Country

From Left Ukrain’s Stefan Gravril, Romania’s, Maryna Nemchenko, are received by the Race Meet Director Barnaba Korir upon arrival at the Eldoret International Airport. Photo: Race Organisers
From Left Ukrain’s Stefan Gravril, Romania’s, Maryna Nemchenko, are received by the Race Meet Director Barnaba Korir upon arrival at the Athletes Village at the Lobo Village in Eldoret. Photo: Race Organisers

The first batch of International elite athletes have jetted into the country for the much anticipated third edition of the Sirikwa Classic, a Word Cross Country Tour- Gold slated for February 3, 2024 in Lobo, Uasin Gishu County.

The foreign athletes that touched down at the Eldoret International Airport were led by Ukrainian 5,000m National champion Maryna Nemchenko who will be making her debut at Sirikwa and Germany’s Hendrik Pfeiffer who will also remain behind to continue his training at Iten for the forth coming Berlin Half Marathon in April.

The 27 year-old who is also the Marathon National champion, was happy to arrive in the country after almost two days of flight.

“This is my first time in Kenya for the event, I hope it will be interesting. After the race I will travel to Italy for my Olympics training camp.” Said Nemchenko.

Nemchenko was joined by Pfeiffer who is not new to Kenya specifically Iten.

“I have been to Kenya on several occasions this is like my second home, it’s a great opportunity to start my two months training with high level competition. My shape is very good I try keep up with some of the best Kenyan runners in my second appearance of the race.” Said Pfeiffer who clocked 2:07.14 to finish third at Houston Marathon, USA last month.

Romania’s Stefan Gravril will be targeting to test his endurance levels to enable him break the Romanian national record of 13:15.0 in 5,000m and 10,000m 27:40.06 for a chance to represent his country at the Paris Olympics later this year.

“I expect to have a good run against the Kenyan and Ethiopian boys and see how I am doing, though it will all depend on tomorrow on how I will be feeling after the long flight. My target is to be the top European athlete at the finish.” Said Gravril who holds a National Record of 14.06 in 5km.

Tanzania will have their hopes on John Nahhay and Grace Jackson Charles who will also be making their first appearance in Kenya.

“I feel good to be here I have been preparing well, I know this is a high attitude area and it is not going to be easy but we shall see how it goes.” Said Nahhay.


  • John Vaselyne

    John Vaselyne is the founder of Athletics News. Africa’s only Independent Athletics News website. He has covered World U18 and U20 Championships, World Cross Country Championships, Four Continental Tour Gold Series, Wanda Diamond League. He has passion for the Sport and has over seven years experience in this area of sport. He is also the Leading Athletics Pundit in the Country, having been hosted in ALL leading TV stations in Kenya

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