Liberia Prepares For World Cross Country Championship in Kampala

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Monrovia – Two teenagers are undergoing an intensive preparation to represent Liberia at the World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, Uganda.

They will join over 800 athletes to run in the historic and prestigious Kololo Independence Grounds in the heart of Kampala on March 26.

According to a February 20 press release, 18-year-old Lucy Massaquoi and 17-year-old Andrew S. Kpehe will participate in the under-20 mixed race.

They began training in January, having been named by the Liberia Athletics Federation (LAF) and delightfully continued their practice after they were formally accepted by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

Massaquoi is the 2011 female marathon winner and Kpehe is the 1,500 and 5,000 meters male champions in Liberia.

They were picked after the 2017 National Open Club Championship held in the Fendell community on the outskirt of Monrovia last November.

According to coach Samuel Cooper, their training include 150 meters, 300 meters, 600 meters, 1,600 meters and field events, among others, on top of Benson Street hill and the principal streets of Monrovia and Paynesville, aimed at testing and building their endurance and strength.

The athletes are been managed by a team of five to ably represent the country as required by the IAAF.

Meanwhile, Kampala will be the fourth African city in the history of the IAAF World Cross Championship to host the tournament after Guiyang of China passed the baton in 2015.

The winner in Kampala will receive US$30,000 (Ugx105 million) as more than 50 countries have confirmed their participation. 

They include Liberia, Gambia, Morocco, Algeria, Comoros, Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Iraq, Great Britain, Japan, Canada, China, Australia, Brazil, Peru, France, Spain, Italy and Sri Lanka.

Local organizing committee secretary Beatrice Ayikoru is optimistic the numbers will surge up with many last minute entries.

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