Kenya team for London World meet unveiled: Squad unveiled after two days of battle at Nyayo

By Dennis Okeyo: Sunday, June 25th 2017 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Athletics
Ezekiel Kemboi congratulates Brimin Kipruto, Conselous Kipruto and Jairus Birech after they finished 3000m steeplechase during the national athletics trials at Nyayo staium.PHOTO/DENNIS OKEYO

Youngsters tasked with duty in 5000m as Kamworor set for Farah battle once again.

Athletics Kenya (AK) has named the final squad of 38 athletes to carry the nation’s flag at the 16th edition of the IAAF World Championships set for London from August 4 to 13.

The selection came after a two-day bruising action that featured top stars and new faces that made the cut.

The naming of the team was however not without drama, with world 800m record holder David Rudisha at first missing on the list, before he later got a call-up to join the squad.

Rudisha who won gold at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing did not compete at the trials and was hoping to get into the London-bound team via a wild card.

In the end, five names were picked in the 800m squad and it remains to be seen who among them will be dropped as Kenya can only field four runners at the world event.

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Little-known Cyrus Ruto and world junior silver medalist Davis Kiplagat will represent the country in the 5,000m race.

In the absence of the reigning and defending champion Vivian Cheruiyot who has since called it a day in track running after switching to marathon, former World Cross Country champion Agnes Tirop, reigning World Cross Country champion Irene Cheptai and All-Africa Games Champion Alice Aprot have the task of bringing back the title in women’s 10,000m.

In the corresponding men's event, the usual suspects that include World Cross Country champion Geoffrey Kamworor, Bedan Karoki and Olympic silver medalist Paul Tanui have the responsibility of challenging Briton Mo Farah.

National 200m men’s champion Mark Otieno will be the sole representative in the event after making it into the team.

In the women’s 5,000m race, Olympics silver medalist Hellen Obiri and youngster Margaret Chelimo will try to challenge arch-rivals from Ethiopia over the distance.

By virtue of the country having defending champion in men’s 1,500m race, four men, led by four-time world champion Asbel Kiprop, world silver medalist Elijah Manangoi, Ronald Kwemoi and Timothy Cheruiyot, were picked.

Kenya finished top of the medal table at the World Championships in Beijing for the first time, with seven gold, six silver and three bronze medals, with Jamaica and the US in second and third place respectively.

The team will be headed by Nicholas Maswi as team manager, while Julius Kirwa will be head coach.

 

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