Kenya's Taipei Marathon and Eastern Region Half Marathon champion Caroline Cheptanui will lead the Kenya women's team for this year's Yokohama Women Ekiden race in Japan.
Cheptanui who won the regional 21km race in Uganda last month will have Magdaline Syombua, Lydia Njeri Mathathi, Agnes Jepkorir Kiprop, Jane Wamucii Murage and Caroline Chepkorir in the team.
Abraham Kiplimo of Kenya Prisons will lead the Kenyan men's team. Kiplimo was also at the helm at the 2007 World Road Running Championships in Udine Italy where Kenya swept the team titles.
Kenya will be looking to make up for missing last year's event due to post election crisis that rocked the country.
"We are going to give it our very best in Yokohama. Kenya had a great year is athletics last year and we want to continue the trend in Yokohama," said Kiplimo.
The team will depart for Japan on Wednesday. The Yokohama International Women's Ekiden held in Yokohama is one of the prominent Ekiden races of the year.
Kenya last won the team title in the year 2000. Last year's race was won by Ethiopia with Japan coming in second while Russia was third. Russia had triumphed in 2006 and 2007.
The Ethiopians ran away from Japan in the third of six stages and never relinquishing their lead again, to win the Marathon distance.
For Ethiopia, it was their second victory in the Yokohama Ekiden, having won the event previously in 2004. The day was very windy but their winning time, 2:14:47, was one second faster than the winning time of the Russian team from the last year.
Finishing second, one place higher but more than 30 seconds slower than last year, was host Japan. The defending champions Russia finished third, their worst finish since 2003.
(Xinhua News Agency February 18, 2009)