Athletics Kenya will today name its national marathon team to Rio Olympic Games. Last Friday, AK communicated to 12 athletes (six men and six women), who posted good times in various big city marathons. They were expected to confirm their commitment by yesterday.
AK’s announcement also comes on the back of victories of Lawrence Cherono and Lucy Karimi in yesterday’s Prague marathon. Cherono timed two hours seven minutes and 24 seconds to beat another Kenyan, Felix Kipchirchir Kandie, who won in 2015, by 50 seconds. In the women’s marathon Karimi posted a time of 2:24:46 with Kenyan Purity Cherotich Rionoripo 14sec back in second.
Julius Chepkwony and Jane Kiptoo made it a Kenyan double at the Harmony Geneva Marathon yesterday with a time of 2:11:10 and 2:35:03 respectively.
AK’s announcement will end the long public anxiety on the Olympics marathon squad. London Marathon winner Eliud Kipchoge, runner-up Stanley Biwott, Paris winner Cyprian Kimurgor and Bernard Kipyego, a runner up in Tokyo Marathon have been considered. Cherangany MP Wesley Korir, who was fourth in Boston Marathon and Rotterdam Marathon winner Marius Kipserem, were also picked.
Jemima Sumgong, winner in London Marathon tops the women’s squad alongside Helah Kiprop, winner Tokyo Marathon and Florence Kiplagat, third in London Marathon. New York Marathon winner Mary Keitany, Paris Marathon winner Visiline Jepkesho and Joyce Chepkurui, third in Boston Marathon, are also in the team.
Kipchoge, who missed the world record by eight seconds in London Marathon, is keen to win Olympic Games gold, which is missing from his enviable collections. He won silver and bronze in 5,000m at the Olympics. “I have received the communication and I will confirm it,” Kipchoge said. His winning time of 2:03.05 at the London Marathon makes Kipchoge the second fastest marathoner of all time after Dennis Kimetto, who basks in the current world record mark of 2:02.57.
Biwott will carry his 2:03.51 mark to the Olympics as he makes his debut in the national team. Bernard Kipyego, who has made the national team in previous occasions, will be eyeing to rectify mistakes he made in the Moscow World Championships. On his part, Wesley Korir is expected to replicate the good show he had in 2012 Boston Marathon when he won under a blistering heat.