Kenya set to name Olympic Games marathon team


Kenya set to name Olympic Games marathon team
Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge, the marathon world record holder, is seen among athletic enthusiasts at the Karura forest in Nairobi, Kenya November 16, 2019. REUTERS/Njeri Mwangi

In Summary

  • As the clock ticks towards the Olympic Games, Athletics Kenya (AK) will Friday unveil the athletes who will represent Kenya at the Games set for Tokyo, Japan
  • The announcement will end months of speculation and excitement surrounding the probable athletes to represent the country at the global showpiece earmarked for July 24-August 9

As the clock ticks towards the Olympic Games, Athletics Kenya (AK) will Friday unveil the athletes who will represent Kenya at the Games set for Tokyo, Japan.

The announcement will end months of speculation and excitement surrounding the probable athletes to represent the country at the global showpiece earmarked for July 24-August 9.

The federation had earlier hinted of naming the team earlier this month but the exercise dragged on in what might be attributed to the high number of qualified athletes to select from.

With the qualifying standards for men being 2:11:30 and 2:29:30, a handful of Kenyan athletes have already hit the mark however only three slots are available for male and female categories.

World marathon record holders Eliud Kipchoge (men) and Brigid Kosgei (women) are widely tipped to make the team owing to their achievements in 2019 where the former retained his London Marathon title and also ran a brainstorming 1:59:40 becoming the first human to complete a 42km race in under two hours.

On her part, Kosgei also stormed to victory in London Marathon before smashing the women’s record at the Chicago marathon after clocking 2:14:04.

With majority of marathoners having already declared their availability and interest to represent the country in the Games, the selectors were definitely spoilt for choices.

World Half Marathon record holder Geoffrey Kamworor, world marathon bronze medallist Amos Kipruto and Boston marathon champion Lawrence Cherono are among other hopefuls in the men’s front.

World marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich, the 2018 London marathon champion Vivian Cheruiyot and four-time New York City marathon Mary Keitany are among the women who will be hoping to get the nod.

Two athletes are also expected to be selected in each category as reserves.

Women’s marathon will be held on August 8 while the men’s event is slated for a day later.

Unlike other events in the multi-sport Games will however be held in Sapporo some 800km from the Japanese capital owing to the high temperatures experienced in Tokyo in July and August.

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Story By Gilbert Kiprotich
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