A rival’s advice that propelled Lokir to Sirikwa Classic Cross Country title
ELDORET, Kenya, Feb 4 – National cross country champion Charles Lokir reveals he consulted his predecessor, Samuel Masai, before he took to the course to win the senior men’s 10km race at the Sirikwa Classic World Cross Country Tour on Saturday in Eldoret.
The West Pokot native timed 0:30:14 to take first place in a heated race as Josephat Kiprotich (0:30:19) and Dennis Kipngetich (0:30:21) took second and third place respectively.
Lokir admitted he was apprehensive over his preparedness for this World Cross Country Tour Gold meeting but was inspired for the win after speaking to Masai, who also won last year’s national cross country title and the Agnes Tirop Memorial Cross Country Tour.
“For today’s race, I was less confident because the start list was quite tough, including the defending champion (Samuel Masai). In the morning we talked and he encouraged me that I could win this race…he advised me to increase my pace at the 6km mark and take control of the race. That’s what he did last year and it worked for him,” he said.
Lokir added that mental fortitude and prior preparedness were the key ingredients to what was a hard-fought win for him.
“His (Masai) advice is what I put into my mind and applied to win the race. Ever since the national cross country championships in Ruiru, I had my eye on the Sirikwa Classic and wanted to win it. I was a bit worried and knew I had to prepare well for it. My gratitude to my coach who encouraged me throughout the process,” he said.
The youngster’s attention shifts to the track and field season and will be hoping to translate his success on the cross country course to Nyayo Stadium, which will host the Athletics Kenya Track and Field Weekend meeting next month.
His ultimate aim is to book his ticket on the plane to July’s World Championship in Budapest, Hungary and claim a podium finish in the men’s 10,000m.
“I want to tackle the men’s 10,000m and will be competing in the AK track and field meeting in Nairobi. My coach has advised me to specialise in this race and it is my desire to eventually make it to the World Championships,” Lokir said.
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