Kamworor triumphs but passes Doha chance
- Geoffrey Kamworor clinched the 10,000m title at the National Championships on Wednesday after storming to victory ahead of Rhonex Kipruto and Rodgers Kwemoi at the Nyayo National Stadium
- At the event where tickets for the 2019 World Championship in Doha were up for grabs for the top three places, Kamworor opted to pass his chance, leaving the door open for a fourth finisher
Jacob Icia, at Nyayo Stadium
Geoffrey Kamworor clinched the 10,000m title at the National Championships on Wednesday after storming to victory in 27:24.76 ahead of Rhonex Kipruto (27:26.34) and Rodgers Kwemoi (27:26.92) at the Nyayo National Stadium.
At the event where tickets for the 2019 World Championship in Doha were up for grabs for the top three places, Kamworor opted to pass his chance, leaving the door open for a fourth finisher.
Alex Oleitiptip duly claimed it after clocking 27:29.40 for fourth, joining World junior 10,000m champion Kipruto and Commonwealth Silver medalist Kwemoi in the line-up to represent the country next month at the Qatari capital.
“I’m happy for the good race, I will however not change my mind concerning the World Championships in Doha. I give my colleagues the blessing to go and represent us honourably.
“I will be available for advice to the team as they prepare because the idea is to bring the title home,” a cheerful Kamworor said.
The three-time World Half Marathon champion will shift his focus to the New York marathon set for November 3, having hit his national champion target and adding to his Kenya Police points tally.
Poignantly, this will be the first major track championship for Kipruto at the senior level, although he competed in the Aarhus world cross earlier this year in the senior team.
“I want to make fresh impact in the senior stage. I’m glad that I made it. I know the gap left by Kamworor is big but we are ready for it. He had clearly said he will not be going for the championship so we have our mindset on the responsibility.
“It will be team work that will help us against the perennial rivals. This has to happen even though we cannot forget indivindual responsibility once we get there,” Kipruto offered.
An exhilarated Silah Komen Chepkerio, Kipruto’s father, could not hide his joy to hear his first born son making a pledge of honour to Kenyans in the post race interview.
“Today I’m very proud of Kipruto. He has steadily grown and showed he has a lot to offer even as he gets into the senior stage. It is a good signal that a good transition is taking place as Kamworor focuses on road races.
“We pray and hope they will shine in Doha,” the retired 400m runner who represented Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) between 1995-1997 said.
The big miss on the Doha ticket was Paul Tanui, the Olympics 10,000m silver medallist finishing outside the top four bracket.
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