AK names strong line up ahead of Doha despite stars missing out

By Dennis Okeyo: Wednesday, May 8th 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Athletics
Kenya's Geoffrey Kipkorir Kirui competes in the men's marathon athletics event at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in central London on August 6, 2017. [AFP]

Athletics Kenya selected a mix of experienced and young stars to the 17th IAAF World Athletics Championships that run Doha, Qatar, on September 28 – October 6.

The team includes two world champions in Edna Kiplagat and Geoffrey Kirui. Despite many top marathoners showing no interest in the global event, AK managed to fashion a strong team.

Eliud Kipchoge, who is the greatest marathoner in the history of the sport and London Marathon winner Brigid Kosgei harboured no interest in the competition. It confirms that Kenya boasts of a very deep field of marathoners who under 2 hours and 7 minutes in the full marathon for men and women have run under 2:20.

Geoffrey Kirui

At the 2013 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, Kirui finished 15th in the senior men’s race.

Kirui, 26, won the 2017 Boston Marathon in 2 hours, 9 minutes and 37 seconds in his third marathon. At the 2017 World Championships in London, Kirui won gold in 2:08:27 and looks keen to defend his title. 

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Laban Korir

Korir started road running in 2008 where he won Setúbal Half Marathon in Portugal and then followed it with the 2009 Pombal Meia Marathon. At the 2011 Amsterdam Marathon, he finished second in 2:06:05 behind Wilson Chebet.

He finished sixth at the 2012 Boston Marathon before settling for 11th place in 2012 Chicago Marathon. Korir then won the 2014 Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 2:08:15 and holds a personal best of 2:05.05 set in Amsterdam Marathon in 2016.

Paul Lonyangata

At the 2010 World Junior Championships, Lonyangata won bronze in men’s 10,000m final. Lonyangata, 27, reached the top ten at the 2014 Boston Marathon and finished runner-up at the Honolulu Marathon that year.

He won Shanghai Marathon in 2:07:14 in 2016 and then placed fifth in the Boston Marathon that year. He won Paris Marathon in 2017 and defended his title in 2018. He holds personal best of 2:06.1.

Amos Kipruto

He won his marathon debut at the 2016 Rome Marathon and then won the Seoul Marathon in 2:05:54, before finishing fifth in the Amsterdam Marathon in 2:05:43. He was runner-up at the 2018 Berlin marathon before sustaining a knee injury. He made a comeback from injury with a fourth finish at the Prague Marathon last weekend.

Ernest Ngeno

Ngeno has participated in marathons since 2013. He has personal best of 2:06:41 set in 2018 Paris Marathon.  


Edna Kiplagat

Kiplagat is most decorated member of the team, having won the world title two-time and will be making her fifth appearance at the World Championships in Doha.

Married to Gilbert Koech, the mother of two have presented Kenya since 1996. She has won Boston, New York and London Marathon in her marathon running career.  Recently, the 39-year-old relocated to the United States, where she and her family have settled in Longmont, Colorado.

Visiline Jepkesho

Jepkesho made her marathon debut at the 2014 Milan Marathon winning in 2:28.4. She finished third at the 2015 Paris Marathon before winning it the following year in 2:24:44. The Kenya Prions Service wardress makes her second appearance at the world championship having debuted at the 2015 World Championships and also represented Kenya at the 2016 Olympics. Jepkesho has Personal Best of 2:21:37.

Sally Chepyego

Chepyego, 34, made her national team debut at the 2001 World Youth Championships Debrecen, Hungary, winning the 3000 metres title. She also represented Kenya the 2013 World Championships in Moscow finishing seventh in women’s 10,000m. The Japan-based runner will make a return to the team and holds a Personal Best of 2:23:15.

Ruth Chepng’etich

Chepngetich, 24, has been phenomenal on the road in the past two years. She won the 2017 Istanbul Marathon this year in a course record of 2:17.07. She makes a return to the national team having featured at the 2018 World Half Marathon in Valencia where she finished 13th.

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