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Athletics. Kipchoge, Vivian exempted from 2019 Doha World Championships

ATHLETICS By Dennis Okeyo | May 7th 2019 | 2 min read
Kenya's Edna Ngeringwony Kiplagat (L) leads Bahrain's Rose Chelimo in the women's marathon athletics event at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in central London [Courtesy]

World champion Geoffrey Kirui and two-time women winner Edna Kiplagat will lead Kenya’s marathon team to the World Athletics Championships due September 28 to October 6 in Doha.

However, some of top names in marathon running have skipped the world championships team among them the newly minted London champion Brigid Kosgei and Berlin winner Gladys Cherono, and Vivian Cheruiyot.

The Olympic 5,000m champion, ‘Pocket Rocket Viv’ requested Athletics Kenya to exempt her from Kenya’s marathon team.

Also missing will be Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge, who will be seeking to defend his Berlin Marathon later in the year and 2019 Boston Marathon Champion Lawrence Cherono.

Kirui, 26, will carry Kenya’s hopes alongside Amos Kipruto, a second-place finisher at the 2018 Berlin Marathon and fourth at Prague Marathon held last weekend.

Also in the star-studded squad are 2018 Paris Marathon champion Paul Lonyangata, Ernest Ngeno and Laban Korir.

Korir earned his spot in the team after producing a Personal Best of 2:09.36 at the 2019 Barcelona Marathon.  Ngeno, who clocked 2:06:41 at last year’s Paris Marathon will make his national team debut.

The women’s team will see Kiplagat return to world championships for the fifth time. The 39-year old won the marathon at the 2011 and 2013 World Championships and will be competing Doha, Qatar, alongside Visiline Jepkesho, Japan-based Sally Kipyego and Ruth Chepng’etich — the 2018 Istanbul Marathon champion.

Jepkesho will be making her second appearance at the World Championship having debuted at the 2015 World Championships and also represented Kenya at the 2016 Olympics.

While naming the team yesterday, Athletics Kenya senior vice-president, Paul Mutwii, said the team will start training in July in Kaptagat under the guidance of Joseph Cheromei and Richard Kimetto.

Without elaborating, Mutwi also said that in future athletes who don’t honour national duty may face action from the federation.

“We picked the team on availability after many of our top athletes decided not to honour the invite. The team will report to camp in early July in Kaptagat,” said Mutwii.

 “There are athletes, who listen only to their managers something we are not happy about. Representing one’s nation is more important than what their managers tell them. Soon we will see how to deal with this kind of situation,” said Mutwii.  

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