AK names strong marathon squad for World Championships

Ruth Chepngetich on her way to win the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon on April 4 2021. [Agencies] 

Defending World Marathon champion Ruth Chepngétich and Lawrence Cherono will lead the Kenyan marathon assault at the World Championships in Oregon, United States, Athletics Kenya announced yesterday.

Chepngetich, who holds the second-fastest ever women-only marathon of 2:17:18, will lead a strong women’s team in Oregon.

Judith Jeptum, fresh from winning the Paris Marathon in definitive fashion, and smashing the previous course record of 2:20:55 last Sunday, is set to make her national team debut after making the cut.

Also expected to make her debut is Maureen Chepkemoi who holds a personal best of 2:20:18, while Angela Tanui, last year’s Amsterdam Marathoner was named to the reserve team.

Cherono, will have the company of two-time New York City Marathon winner Geoffrey Kamworor and debutant Barnabas Kiptum while Geoffrey Kirui was named as the reserve runner.

The trials for the World Championships will be held on June 24-25 at Kasarani Stadium ahead of the Oregon event scheduled for July 15-24.

“The wild card holders from the 2019 Doha World championships and 2021 Diamond league winners will earn automatic selection except in the event where two athletes each holding a wild card by virtue of Diamond league win and defending champion,” said AK president Jackson Tuwei.

“AK will recognise the wild card of the fast finisher among the two athletes irrespective of their finishing position in the trials.”

The national athletics chief Tuwei also named the marathon squad for Commonwealth Games slated for July 28-August 8 in Birmingham, England.

The women’s team will include Margaret Wangari, Purity Changwony, Stella Barsosio and Viola Cheptoo Lagat as a reserve athlete.

The men’s team will consist of Philemon Kacheran, Erick Kiptanui, Jonathan Korir and Michael Githai as a reserve runner.

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