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Rhonex and Kwemoi chase elusive 10,000m title

ATHLETICS By Dennis Okeyo and IAAF | October 6th 2019 | 1 min read
Rhonex Kipruto on his way to win men's 10000m finals at Ratina stadium, Tampere, Finland on July 1o, 2018. [Dennis Okeyo, Standard]

Kenya’s statistics at the 10,000m is worrying as the country hasn’t won the World Championships title in the last 18 years when Charles Kamathi triumphed in Edmonton.

Tonight, world Under-20 champion Rhonex Kipruto and his compatriots will be hoping to end the long wait when they take to the track at 8pm in Doha.

Rhonex claimed a classy 10,000m victory in Stockholm World Challenge in 26:50.16 earlier in the year and a second-place finish at the Kenyan Championships behind world half marathon record-holder Geoffrey Kamworor. He will partner with Rodgers Kwemoi, the 2015 world Under-20 champion and Alex Oloitiptip who is making his national team debut.

According to Kamathii, Kenya has a very difficult task ahead: “18 years is such a long time to wait for another victory. We haven’t been doing well in the 10,000m event. It’s likely our charges will find it hard especially going by the performance of Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei, there is need an urgent need to strategise on how we approach the event.”

On paper Cheptegei, the world silver medalist and World Cross Country champion looks to be the favourite after his 5,000m victory at the Diamond League final in Zurich courtesy of a courageous front-running display.

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