KADOMA-based middle distance runner Jacob Mugomeri says he is unfazed with the tough challenge he is expecting to face when he makes his debut at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Cross Country Championships in China later this month.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
The global showcase will be held in the Guiyang province on March 28.
The youthful Mugomeri qualified for the prestigious tournament after producing a good performance at the recently held Southern Region Cross Country Championships in Malawi where he came second in the seniors men 12km category.
He will be joined at the global showcase by compatriot Olivia Chitate who also booked her ticket for the prestigious competition in Malawi after coming first in her senior women category.
In an interview with NewsDay Sport yesterday, the 22-year-old Mugomeri said he was confident to raise the country’s flag high in China.
“I am happy because this is going to be my first time to represent the country at such a big tournament. I will be aiming to raise the country’s flag high. I know this is going to be a challenging tournament, but I believe I will be up to the task and I am confident of recording a good result,” Mugomeri said.
“I am going to use this chance as preparation for qualifying events for Olympics that will be held next year in Brazil. My dream now is to qualify for the Olympics, and l am working very hard to always improve on my personal records,” he said.
Mugomeri personal record time in the 21km race is 1hr 03 min while in the 10 km is 28min.09 sec.
The oldest of the IAAF World Athletics Series competitions, this year’s event will be the 41st staging of the global cross-country contest.
It will also be the third time the championships have been held in Asia, following the 2006 edition in Fukuoka and the 2009 event in Amman.
Preliminary entries suggest this year’s championships will be bigger than the past three editions.
An expected 460 athletes from 56 countries are set to compete in Guiyang, surpassing the numbers from 2013 (400 athletes from 41 countries), 2011 (423 athletes from 51 countries) and 2010 (437 athletes from 51 countries).
Athletes will compete in four races over the conventional distances for the championships: senior men — 12km, senior women and junior men — 8km, junior women — 4km.