Joy as team returns: World Half Marathon squad feted after successful show in Copenhagen

By GILBERT KOECH

AK Chairman Isaiah Kiplagat receives the national flag from the World Half Marathon team at Riadha House

The Kenya World Half Marathon team returned home yesterday to a joyous welcome and confirmed they are training their eyes on this years’ Commonwealth Games and Senior African Athletics Championships.

Gold medallist Glady’s Cherono, who led a historic Kenyan sweep in the women’s category said she is eager to make the cut for the Kenya team to the Commonwealth Games set for July 23 to August 3 in Glasgow. Cherono plans to compete in the 10,000m race.

The 28-year-old, who made a brilliant performance in her maiden race said she is still overwhelmed by her feat in Copenhagen, Denmark.

“I am happy for this outing and glad that I did it to my expectation. I now plan to rest and go into training ahead of the Commonwealth Games. I hope to make it to the national team,” said Cherono during a breakfast meeting hosted by Athletics Kenya in Nairobi.

Giant killer

Men’s gold medalist Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor, the man who beat the five-time champion Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea, said he was equally ecstatic about his win.

 He is looking forward to breaking the world.

 On Commonwealth Games, Kamworor said he is focusing on the shorter 5,000m event and hopes he will make the team.

The 21-year-old police officer based in Lugari said he is not relaxing after the Denmark performance but will be focusing on maintaining his groove for the Club Games.

On the Continental championship in Marakech, Morocco in July, Kipsang was noncommittal saying the event is too close to the Commonwealth Games and it might not be convenient for him.

“I am delighted to win gold, which I have been dreaming of. Now with Copenhagen over, I am concentrating of training ahead of the Commonwealth Games. But for the Africa championship, I might not confirm my participation because its to close to Glasgow,” he said.

club games

The Ras Al Kaimah half marathon 2013 champion, Lucy Kabuu, who did not shine in Copenhagen, said she is hoping to run the marathon event in Glasgow subject to consulting her agent Gian Demadonna. Her perfomance, she said, was due to fatigue, having just had four weeks to recover after taking part in the Tokyo Marathon.

Warf to Warf half marathon 2009 champion Simon Cheprot and the little-known Kennedy Kipkemboi also said they will be aiming for both the Africa Athletics Championships and Commonwealth Games.

AK president Isaiah Kiplagat said he was pleased with the team’s performance and congratulated team coach Edith Masai, a former track star, for her input. He said with Kenya having a deficit of local women coaches, Masai will serve as one of the dependable national team coaches for long.

“We are happy with the performance you showed. For Masai, we are more pleased of a good job and I personally want to assure you that you will be AK national coach for a long time,” he said.  — [email protected]

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