Defending champions have named a strong squad for the 2017 World athletics championships. Plenty of new names intermixed with veterans. Since Kenya won seven gold medals last time, a number of athletes received an automatic slot in the championships without having to qualify. These include David Rudisha, Ezekiel Kemboi, Hyvin Kiyeng, Asbel Kiprop, Nicholas Bett and Julius Yego. Of these, Yego was the only one to participate in the trials.
Hellen Obiri who recently broke the Kenya 5000m record, is in the best form of her life and will challenge for gold in that event. She will have to contend with Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia who is going for revenge having been beaten by Kenyans at the 2016 Olympics.
Olympic gold medalist Faith Kipyegon is also in dominant form and will be competing with Genzebe Dibaba who is also looking for a measure of revenge.
In the women’s steeplechase, new sensation Cellphine Chespol, who broke the Kenya record despite losing her shoe in Eugene, starts in a strong position and will be competing with Kenyan defector Ruth Jebet.
A new cadre of newbies who have run sensational times will be depended on for medals including Ronald Kwemoi, Cyrus Rutto and Timothy Cheruiyot.
The steeplechase will be manned by vastly experienced runners. Besides Kemboi there us Brimin Kipruto who has represented Kenya for fourteen years plus Jairus Birech and Olympic gold medalist Conseslus Kipruto.
The women’s 10,000m will see another new find Agnes Tirop lead the charge, accompanied by world cross country champion Irene Cheptai and All Africa games champion Alice Aprot.
In the men’s 10,000m, world cross country champion Geoffrey Kamworor will be back with Bedan Kaloki as they try again to wrest the title from Mo Farah.
Kenya rarely sends sprinters to these games. It is refreshing to see Mark Otieno compete in the 200m. The effervescent Otieno recently broke the Kenya 100m record with a time of 10.14. .
Men’s 400m Hurdles: Haron Koech, Kiprono Kosgei, Nicholas Bett
Women’s 10,000m: Agnes Tirop, Irene Cheptai, Alice Aprot
Men’s 200m: Mark Otieno
Women’s 5000m: Hellen Obiri, Margaret Chelimo
Men’s 5000m: Cyrus Ruto, David Kiplagat
Women’s 400m: Maximilla Imali
Men’s 400m: Raymond Kibet, Alphas Kishioyan, Collins Omae
Men’s Javelin: Julius Yego
Men’s 1500m: Ronald Kwemoi, Timothy Cheruiyot, Elijah Manangoi, Asbel Kiprop
Women’s 1500m: Faith Chepn’getich, Winnie Chebet
Women’s 3000m steeplechase: Cellphine Chepsol, Beatrice Chepkoech, Purity Kirui, Hyvin Kiyeng
Men’s 3,00m steeplechase: Conseslus Kipruto, Birmin Kipruto, Jairus Birech, Ezekiel Kemboi
Women’s 800m: Margaret Nyairera, Eunice Sum, Emily Cherotich
Men’s 800m: Emmanuel Korir, Kipyegon Bett, Michael Saruni, Ferguson Rotich, David Rudisha
Triple jump: Elijah Kimitei
Men’s walk race: Samuel Gathimba, Simon Wachira
Women’s race walk: Grace Wanjiru
Men’s Marathon: Daniel Wanjiru, Geoffrey Kirui, Gideon Kipketer
Women’s marathon: Edna Kiplagat, Hela Kiprop, Flomena Cheyech
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