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EXCLUSIVE

Wanyonyi bubbling with confidence ahead of World X-country

The World Cross-country Championships will be held in Bathurst, Australia on February 18

Emmanuel Wanyonyi celebrates after winning the men's 800m race during Golden Spike, an international athletic meet of Continental Tour - Gold category in Ostrava, Czech Republic in May 31, 2022.

2021 World Under-20 800m Champion Emmanuel Wanyonyi is bubbling with confidence ahead of the World Cross-country Championships in Bathurst, Australia slated for February 18.

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Wanyonyi will be competing in the senior men’s 2 Km mixed relay alongside Daniel Munguti, Mathew Kipsang and Abel Kipsang. The 18-year-old expressed his confidence towards the team finishing on the winners' podium.

Being his first time representing the country in the championship, Wanyonyi said he is banking on teamwork to actualise his dream of medaling.

“We are working as a team and hopefully our hard work shall pay off well. Everyone wants to win and we also want the same. A podium finish will be good for us and hopefully we will win gold,” Wanyonyi said.

Currently, the team is camping at the Kigari Teachers Training College in preparation for the global show. Wanyonyi revealed his body is responding well to the training despite the minor injuries he has encountered.

“We train twice a day mostly but sometimes the program is different. My body is in good shape…I can’t complain,” he said, adding that training in the highland areas is an added advantage to the team considering the course in Bathurst is hilly.

However, the 2022 Kip Keino Classic 800m champion revealed that mastering the techniques of competing in the highland area has proven to be an uphill task. He added that the team needs to also pull up their socks when it comes to their speed.

“One needs to be strong to compete in such areas with ease. That is what I’m still struggling with but the program is structured well and I hope by February I’ll be set,” he said.

Wanyonyi concluded by saying he will also be eyeing a slot in the World Championships set for August in Budapest, Hungary. “This Cross-country will be great build-up for me ahead of the World Championships.”

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