What you need to know:
- Kamworor’s replacement is one of the sweeping changes Athletics Kenya have made to the team they had initially picked for the event
- AK director of competitions, Paul Mutwii disclosed that they have entered a team of 10 athletes; five men and five women for the 24th edition of the world half marathon
- Besides Jepchirchir, who hold women’s only half marathon world record of 1:05:34, the team has former mixed women’s half marathon world record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei (1:04:51)
Defending champion Geoffrey Kamworor has been replaced as former champion Peres Jepchirchir earned a place in Team Kenya for the World Half Marathon Championships due October 17 in Gdynia, Poland.
Kamworor’s replacement is one of the sweeping changes Athletics Kenya have made to the team they had initially picked for the event that was planned for March 29 this year but rescheduled after the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.
AK director of competitions, Paul Mutwii disclosed that they have entered a team of 10 athletes; five men and five women for the 24th edition of the world half marathon.
Former marathon world record holder Patrick Makau will handle the team that has two-time world marathon champion Catherine “The Great” Ndereba as chaperone and Patrick Kipsang as team manager.
The team leaves the country on October 15 for the Scandinavian country.
Winner of Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Half Marathon in February this year, Kibiwott Kandie, who is fresh from running a world lead in half marathon with victory in 58:38 in Prague, Czech on September 6, and Leonard Barsoton (59:09) will lead the men’s team.
The duo is untouched from the previous team.
Shadrack Kimining, who finished third at the Houston Half Marathon in January, and Guadalajara Half Marathon in February as well as Victor Chumo have been left out.
Instead, AK have entered Bernard Kipkorir (59:07), a second-place finisher in 59:26 at Houston Half Marathon, Houston, USA in January, the 2019 Prague Half Marathon winner Bernard Kimeli (59:07) and seasoned distance runner Morris Munene (59:22) for the world competition.
Kamworor returned 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.
With Kamworor out, Barsaton is the only one from the 2018 team, having finished 12th.
Third-place finisher at Prague Half Marathon, Dorcas Jepchumba (1:07:10) and Brillian Jepkorir (1:07:12), who settled second at Houston Half Marathon in February, have retained their places in the women’s team.
The 2018 world half bronze medallist Pauline Kaveke, Monica Wanjohi and Dorcas Jepchirchir have been left out.
Besides Jepchirchir, who hold women’s only half marathon world record of 1:05:34, a feat she achieved when winning Prague Half Marathon on September 5, this year, the team has former mixed women’s half marathon world record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei (1:04:51).
Also making the team is Japan-based Rosemary Wanjiru (1:05:34), who finished third at Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Half Marathon in February. Wanjiru, Jekorir and Jepchumba will be representing Kenya for the first time.
Jepkosgei claimed silver 1:06:54 as Ethiopian Netsanet Gudeta went for gold in women’s only half marathon world record time of 1:06:11. It’s a record that Jepchirchir broke in Prague a month ago.
Distance stars Joshua Cheptegei and Sifan Hassan, who are world 5,000m and 10,000m champions respectively, are among the top names entered for the World Half Marathon Championships.
Hassan will take the battle to Ethiopia’s Netsanet Gudeta, who will be defending her women’s title.