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Jelimo skips event, no dope tests to be done

Updated Wednesday, July 13th 2011 at 00:00 GMT +3

By Omulo Okoth and Gilbert Wandera

Olympic 800m women’s champion Pamela Jelimo’s will miss the National Championships starting tomorrow at Nyayo National Stadium, which effectively locks her out of the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.

The 22-year-old (pictured) has never recovered her phenomenal form that saw her win 2008 African title, World junior record (1:54:01), Olympic title and wrapping up the season by single-handedly winning the US$1 million IAAF Golden League jackpot.

Her manager Barnabas Korir said Jelimo, who was Kenya’s first women Olympic champion, has skipped the National Championships that will also be the World Championships trials due to injuries that have dogged her.

“She has had a string of injuries which has frustrated her return to top form. However, our focus is more on the Olympic title defence next year,” Korir told FeverPitch.

Athletics Kenya Secretary General David Okeyo was more forthright.

“We all know that Jelimo has not had a good season. Once she skips the National Championships, there is no way we can consider her for the World Championships,” said Okeyo.

“I am not privy to reasons for her bad performances, but I am just as concerned as other Kenyans. I hope she recovers in time to defend her Olympic title,” said Okeyo.

Meanwhile, Athletics Kenya chairman Isaiah Kiplagat said doping tests will not be done before Thursday’s national trials.

Kiplagat said a delay in ordering the equipment for that purpose has forced them to cancel the exercise, which is obligatory for any major event.

“We realised too late that we needed to order the equipment from South Africa. We hope that those who are selected will be fine,” he said.

But Kiplagat said the IAAF may conduct random tests on those who will make the Kenyan team prior to the team’s departure for the World Championships in South Korea.

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