What you need to know:
- Kamworor is not certain if he will compete after returning to training late, having recovered from injuries sustained from a freak accident on June 25 this year
- Kamworor rolled out a world record when he claimed the Copenhagen Half Marathon in 58:01 in September last year
- Athletics Kenya will now have to rethink about the team selection after Kaveke and Victor Chumo, who is also in the team, were picked to pace at the London Marathon on October 4 this year
Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor is in doubt of defending his world half marathon title for the fourth consecutive time on October 17 in Gdynia, Poland.
Kamworor is not certain if he will compete after returning to training late, having recovered from injuries sustained from a freak accident on June 25 this year.
The world half marathon record holder was hit from behind by a speeding motorcycle, sustaining injuries on his head and above the ankle.
The 27-year-old Kamworor had to be operated on at St Luke's Hospital in Eldoret.
“I am not quite sure if I will run since I returned to training late owing to the accident,” said Kamworor, who resumed light training towards the end of July.
According to Dr Victor Bargoria, who treated Kamworor, the diagnosis was to open incomplete right tibia shaft fracture, knee bruises and scalp laceration.
“The procedure was debridement of contaminated soft tissue and loose bone fragments followed by irrigation and wound closure,” he explained after attending to the star at St Luke's Hospital.
The athlete who trains at the Global Communications camp in Kaptagat was targeting his fourth consecutive world half marathon title after 2014 Copenhagen, 2016 Cardiff and 2018 Valencia.
It’s in Copenhagen where Kamworor sealed his hat-trick with a championship record time of 59 minutes and 08 seconds, breaking Zersenay Tadese’s 2009 Birmingham’s winning time of 59:35.
Kamworor won the race in Valencia in 2018, beating Kenyan born Abraham Naibei Cheroben of Bahrain and Eritrean Aron Kifle to second and third places respectively.
Kamworor rolled out a world record when he claimed the Copenhagen Half Marathon in 58:01 in September last year, crushing the previous time of 58:23 set by Tadese in Lisbon in 2010. Another Kenyan Abraham Kiptum broke the record in 2018 Valencia but the time has been expunged for doping.
Kamworor would go on to seal his double at the New York City marathon in November last year after his 2017 exploits but his dream of a hat-trick this year has been curtailed after the event was cancelled due to Covid-19 pandemic.
Kamworor and World half marathon bronze medallist Pauline Kaveke were picked early March this year to lead Team Kenya for the 24th edition of the World Half Marathon that was planned for March 29 in Gdynia but postponed to October 17 due to Covid-19 pandemic.
Athletics Kenya will now have to rethink about the team selection after Kaveke and Victor Chumo, who is also in the team, were picked to pace at the London Marathon on October 4 this year.
The men’s team also had Kibiwott Kandie, who is fresh from winning the Prague Half Marathon in a course record and fourth fastest time in history over the distance of 58:38 on September 5.
Kandie, the national cross country champion, also won the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Half Marathon in February in the United Arab Emirates.
Also in the men’s team are 2017 World Cross Country silver medallist Leonard Barsoton, who finished sixth at RAK Half Marathon and was placed 12th during the world half in Valencia, and Shadrack Kimining, who finished third at the Houston Half Marathon in January, and Guadalajara Half Marathon in February.
Kaveke was to take her second shot at the title after she settled for bronze in a personal best of 1:06:56 in Valencia. Her team has Monica Wanjuhi, Brillian Jepkorir, Dorcas Jepchirchir and Dorcas Kimeli.
The development in Team Kenya comes as Uganda named its team for the world half marathon.
World 10,000m champion Joshua Cheptegei and world 3,000m leader Jacob Kiplimo are among the athletes selected to represent Uganda.
Cheptegei, the world cross-country champion, broke the world 5000m record at the Diamond League meeting in Monaco last month with 12:35.36 and is targeting to break the 10,000m world record on October 7 before heading to Poland.
Kiplimo, meanwhile, won the 5,000m at the World Athletics Continental Tour meeting in Ostrava with a PB of 12:48.63 and then went on to triumph over 3,000m at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Rome in a world-leading 7:26.64, breaking the Ugandan record and becoming the fastest teenager in history over the distance.