Coach Makau confident as Team Kenya departs for Poland


Coach Makau confident as Team Kenya departs for Poland
Kibiwott Kandie crosses the finish line to win the National Cross Country men's title in 2019. He will lead Kenya men's team on Saturday at the World Half Marathon in Poland (PHOTO/Gilbert Kiprotich)

In Summary

  • Team Kenya coach for this year’s World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Patrick Makau believes the country has fronted a formidable squad ahead of the Saturday’s event to be held in Gdynia, Poland.
  • The absence of the men’s defending champion Geoffrey Kamworor from the Kenya’s starting list is not baffling Makau who says the selected squad will ‘perfectly’ fill his void at the one-day event.
  • Kamworor, who is also the world half marathon record holder, has returned to training after a motorbike accident in Eldoret in June but has opted not to seek his fourth consecutive world half title.

Team Kenya coach for this year’s World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Patrick Makau believes the country has fronted a formidable squad ahead of the Saturday’s event to be held in Gdynia, Poland.

The absence of the men’s defending champion Geoffrey Kamworor from the Kenya’s starting list, is not baffling Makau who says the selected squad will ‘perfectly’ fill his void at the one-day event.

Kamworor, who is also the world half marathon record holder, has returned to training after a motorbike accident in Eldoret in June but has opted not to seek his fourth consecutive world half title.

Speaking Tuesday evening, moments before the Kenya’s contingent left for Poland, Makau, a former world marathon record holder, said he is optimistic the selected squad will clinch both the team and individual titles.

“I thank Athletics Kenya for selecting a strong Team Kenya and despite Kamworor’s absence I think I have a good squad which will do wonders on Saturday. We’re aware of the challenge ahead of us but we will ensure the team title remains in Kenya and that means also at individual level we must do very well,” said Makau.

Kenya has put its hopes on Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) and Prague Half Marathon champion Kibiwott Kandie and 2017 World Cross Country Championships silver medallist Leonard Barsoton. Maurice Munene, Bernard Kipkorir and Bernard Kimeli are also in the men’s squad.

Fresh from setting a new women’s only world record in Prague with a time of 1:05:34, Peres Jepchirchir will lead Kenyan women side alongside Monicah Wanjiru, who has a 1:09:29 best set last year, Brilliant Jepkorir, Dorcas Kimeli and Joceline Jepkosgei.

The championship was initially scheduled for March 29, but rescheduled following the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Kenya’s contingent to Poland

Men:

Bernard Kipkorir, Kibiwott Kandie, Leonard Barsoton, Bernard Kimeli, and Morris Munene.

Women:

Peres Jepchirchir, Brilliant Jepkorir, Joyciline Jepkosgei, Rosemary Wanjiru and Dorcas Kimeli.

Officials:

Patrick Makau (head coach), Catherine Ndereba (chaperone) and Patrick Kipsang (Team Manager) and Jonas Tonge (co-ordinator).

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Story By Stanley Mativo
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