The format for the selection of the national Marathon teams that will fly the country’s flag in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro has been changed.
After a wide consultation with all the stakeholders, the selection would not be based on the national trials earlier scheduled for February 14th but instead it will be centered on performance on selected marathon races abroad.
According to a communiqué from Athletics Kenya Media and Publication department to media houses, those likely to get the bragging rights to compete in the Brazilian capital include those who did well during this year’s International Association of Athletics Federation’s world Championships in Beijing, China, during the month of August.
The National federation has been looking for the best ways to pick the national teams for major championships following unenthusiastic show during global competitions despite individuals dominating in big city marathons.
“Following consultations with athletes, coaches and other stakeholders regarding the selection of the marathon Team to represent Kenya during the 2016 Olympic Games, the selection of the athletes will be based on performances and results achieved at these particular competition,” read the Press release on Tuesday afternoon.
During the World Championships this year, Kenya was represented by the world fastest marathoners including Dennis Kimeto, the current world record holder and his forerunner Wilson Kipsang and two-times World champ Ednah Kiplagat.
Nonetheless, it was only peripheral Hella Kiprop who managed to win the only medal in marathon after finishing second for silver in the women category, prompting the desire for the formulation of selection criteria.
In addition to the World championship performance, those who did or will do well in Tokyo in 2015 and 2016, London in 2015 and 2016 and Berlin this year subsequently will also qualify to wear the national colours in Rio.
Others that may catch the selection panel eyes will be those excelling in Chicago, New York and any other marathon in 2015 and not later than the end of April 2016 implying those already with a victory in any of the above this year have already qualified.
Those who will be selected will be proclaimed on 1st May, 2016 and thereafter will be informed when and where to go for residential training camp in preparation for the Olympic Games that will take place from 12th to 21st of August.
Previously, national marathon teams have been training in Iten and Eldoret ahead of major championship where many of the members come from.
Despite of winning every marathon in the global athletics calendar, it is only the Late Samuel Kamau Wanjiru who has won an Olympic title for the country after accomplishing the feat during the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
Douglas Wakiihuri (1987), Luke Kibet (2007) and Abel Kirui (2009 and 2011) and Catherine Ndereva and Ednah Kiplagat have claims on the World championship titles.
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