Veterans seal second stab at Club Games: At least 14 athletes return to Commonwealth contest

By DENNIS OKEYO: Monday, February 19th 2018 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Athletics
2018 commonwealth games trials Samuel Gathimba and Simon Wachira (right) during the men's 20km walk race during the Commonwealth Games Trials.[Dennis Okeyo, Standard media.

World beating athletes stage impressive comebacks and pick tickets to Australia.

 At least 14 athletes will make a second stab at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, on April 4-15.

World 1,500m champion Elijah Manangoi, who was disheartened after finishing 11th at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, returns to the Club Games to prove his mettle.

Defending champions Julius Yego (javelin) and Purity Cherotich (3,000m steeplechase) will be back for another shot at their titles while Jonathan Ndiku (3,000m steeplechase) will line up in 10,000m.

Josphat Bett, who lost narrowly to Uganda’s Moses Kipsiro in HamdenPark Stadium in Glasgow, will be out to make amends.

World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri, who finished fifth in 1,500m, will compete in the 12-lap race as Collins Omae (400m), Elijah Kimitei (triple jump) and Nicholas Bett, the 2015 world 400m hurdles champion, will seek redemption Down Under.

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Winny Chebet, who was in the 2010 squad to New Delhi Commonwealth Games, return to the Club Games as Maureen Jelagat, who has suffered false starts in 400m hurles make her third stab in Commonwealth Games – after 2010 and 2014.

The team, which was picked in the one-day trials at Kasarani Stadium yesterday consists of 65 athletes, 36 men and 29 women, and will be handled by Joseph Ochieng as team manager.

Also in the steeplechase women team is world junior record holder Celiphine Chepsol alongside newcomer Fancy Cherono. In the men’s 3000m steeplechase Conseslus Kipruto was handed a wildcard after failing to compete due to stomach illness.

He will partner with Abraham Kibiwot and World junior 3000m steeplechase champion Amos Kirui.

Manangoi, Timothy Cheruiyot and World Junior 1500m champion Kumari Taki, who has since graduated to senior ranks will make the strong three-member squad in men’s 1500m.

In the corresponding women race, steeplechase specialist Beatrice Chepkoech will compete in 1500m race in Australia alongside Winny Chebet and Mary Kuria.

Another wild card holder Obiri will partner with Maragaret Chelimo and youngster Eva Cherono in women’s 1500m.

Kiprono Kosgei of Kenya Police will line up 110m hurdler while Bethwel Langat will compete in men’s triple jump.

Sandra Felis Chebet, Stacy Ndiwa and Beatrice Mutai will line up in women’s 10,000m while IAAF World 10,000m junior champion Rodgers Kwemoi, Japan-based Jonathan Ndiku and Josephat Bett will team up in men’s 25-lap race.

Japheth Kemei will head the coaching unit assisted by Julius Kirwa. Mary Chege will be the team’s chaperon.

The Commonwealth Games comprises 71 English speaking nations.