After two days of gruelling action at the National Athletics Trials at the Nyayo Stadium, Athletics Kenya have named a team of 47 track and field athletes to represent the country at the 2019 World Championships set for Doha, Qatar between September 27 to October 6 in Doha, Qatar.
The team will be led by six wild card holders, who secured their tickets to the global championships by virtue of being the world champion and Diamond League trophy holders in their respective specialties.
World champions Geoffrey Kirui (marathon), Elijah Manangoi and Faith Chepngetich (1500m), Beatrice Chepkoech and Conseslus Kipruto (3,000m steeplechase), will spearhead the team.
With the Kenyan selectors settling for four runners to represent the country in the men’s and women 1500m event due to Manangoi’s and Chepngetich’s wildcards, the battle was rife as athletes staked their claim on a slot in the Doha-bound plane.
Despite being assured of a ticket to Doha, world 1500m silver medalist Timothy Cheruiyot opted to fight for a ticket through the trials, as his now-recovered training-mate Manang’oi sat out of the national show.
Cheruiyot, who has been a dominant figure in the last two seasons produced a commanding performance to cement his name in the Doha-bound team winning the 3:34.91. Ronald Kwemoi was second in 3:37.61 while Manang’oi’s brother, George, the world under-20 champion Manangoi finished third in 3:37.00.
“I’m glad I had uninterrupted season, successfully defending my title in the Diamond League. The focus now shifts to the world championship. I hope to continue with same shape and win the world title in Doha. I know with my training mates, the Manangoi brothers in the team and other members of the squad, we will do well at the championships,” said Cheruiyot.
“I just decided to miss this event to give my leg more recovery time, but its responding well and I will be ready to defend my title.” Just as expected, Olympics and world champion won the women’s 1,500m final and declared she is ready to defend her title. Kipyegon clocked 4:03.22 followed by African champion Winny Chebet (4:03.23) Sela Jepleting (4:05.25) while Judy Chepngetich was fourth, ensuring his place in the team.
“I just wanted to see how my body will react here in the trials. That’s why I went fast in the first 800m mark. Since coming back from maternity, I’m impressed with my performance and I can say I’m ready for my title defence,” Kipyegon. Chebet, who will be making her second appearance at the world championships said: “I’m good shape and this being second time at the world championships, I have enough experience to aim at the podium position.
Men’s 800m final produced the performance of the trials with youngster and world under-20 800m silver medallist Kipngetich Ngeno emerging top. Ngeno timed in 1:44.57 ahead of USA-based Emmanuel Korir while Ferguson Rotich made the team after a 1:44.63 third-place finish.
“That was a tough race. The field had good quality runners and I did not expect to beat all of them. I’m happy to make the team, having won silver in world under-20,” said Ngeno.
Korir said: “The race was very unpredictable. I’m glad to have come here and race to second place.”
Former world champion Eunice Sum settled for second best in her 800m specialty after a brilliant performance by world champion U-18 champion Jackline Wambui, who won the final.
However, the Kenyan selectors had other ideas in men’s 5000m race. The winner of Thursday’s final Michael Kibet and second-place finisher Daniel Simuyu were not named in the team with Athletics Kenya observing that they are yet to meet all anti-doping requirements set by Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).
Thus AK named only Nicholas Kimeli, who finished third as the lone representative with the rest set to be named in due course. World under-20 silver medallist Leonard Bett was a surprise winner of the men’s 3000m steeplechase final, beating Diamond League specialist Benjamin Kigen at the tape. Bett timed 8:20.29 ahead of Kigen (8:20.56) while Abraham Kibiwott, the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist was third in 8:24.61.
Fresh from winning African Games title in Morocco, Lilian Kasait won the women’s 5000m in 15:43.55. Margaret Chelimo was second in 15:46.65 while Sheila Chelangat 15:48.65 took the lesser of the podium positions. Kasait, Chelimo will join World champion Hellen Obiri who gave the trials a wide berth with a wildcard already in the bag.
“I had recovered well from the African Games, and I came here mentally prepared to cut the team. I’m glad I made it,” said kasait.
Sprints will be represented by four runner, Nicholas Chirchir in men’s 400m hurdles, Alphas Kishoyian in men’s 400m as well as Mary Moraa and Hellen Syombua in women’s 400m event.
400m: Alphas Kishoyian, Emmanuel Korir
400m Hurdles: Nicholas Chirchir
800M: Kipngetich Ngeno, Emmanuel Korir, Ferguson Rotich
1500m: Elijah Manang’oi, Timothy Cheruiyot, Ronald kwemoi, George Manang’oi
3,000m SC: Conseslus Kipruto, Leonard Bett, Benjamin Kigen, Abraham Kibiwott
5000m: Nicholas Kimeli
10,000m: Rhonex Kipruto, Rodgers Kwemoi, Alex Oloitiptip
Marathon: Amos Kipruto, Geoffrey Kirui, Laban Korir, Paul Lonyangata
High Jump: Mathew Sawe
Javelin: Julius Yego
Walk: Samuel Gathimba,
400m: Mary Moraa, Hellen Syombua
800M: Eunice Sum, Jackline Wambui
1500m: Faith Chepngetich, Winny Chebet, Sela Jepleting, Judy Chepngetich
5000m: Hellen Obiri, Lilian Kasait, Maragret Chelimo
10,000m: Agnes Tirop, Hellen Obiri, Rosemary Wanjiru
3,000m SC: Beatrice Chepkoech, Hyvin Kiyeng, Celliphine Chesol, Fancy Cherono
Marathon: Ruth Chepngetich, Visiline Jepkesho, Edna Kiplagat
Walk: Grace Wanjiru,
4x400m Mixed Relays: Mary Moraa, Gladys Musyoki, Alphas Kishoyian, Alex Sampao and Joseph Poghisio.
Team Leader: Joseph Kiget
Ass. TeamLeader Erastus Kabugi
Head Coach: Julius Kirwa
Coaches: Bernard Ouma, David Kitur, Shame Kororia, Abraham Kiplimo, Shelly Kilunda, Joseph Cheromei, Richard Metto.
Official: Fredrick Oundo Nahasion Kibor
Media & Communications