Kenya's marathon team wants podium sweep in Birmingham

Commonwealth Games marathon team vice captain Margaret Wangare, accompanied by Jonathan Korir (right), captain, and other athletes during a press conference where the team was named, at a function held at Kenmosa Resort in Eldoret town, Uasin Gishu County on May 21, 2022.


Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Kenya won gold in both men and women's marathon at the Olympics in Sapporo last year through Eliud Kipchoge and Peres Jepchirchir, while Brigid Kosgei took silver in a 1-2 show for the Kenyan women.
  • Athletics Kenya Senior Vice-President Paul Mutwii said the selected team features big city marathon winners who have earned qualification to the Birmingham Games.

The Commonwealth Games marathon team has promised to replicate the medal haul Team Kenya for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games delivered when they line up for the July 28-August 8 bonanza in Birmingham.

Kenya won gold in both men and women's marathon at the Olympics in Sapporo last year through Eliud Kipchoge and Peres Jepchirchir, while Brigid Kosgei took silver in a 1-2 show for the Kenyan women.

Athletics Kenya Senior Vice-President Paul Mutwii said the selected team features big city marathon winners who have earned qualification to the Birmingham Games.

Mutwii spoke after handing over the marathon team to the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) to launch preparations for the Birmingham Games at a ceremony held in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County on Saturday.

AK are facing a major challenge of picking teams for the Commonwealth Games and the World Athletics Championships, the latter competition coming just days ahead of the Birmingham event.

Eugene, USA will host the World Athletics Championships from July 15 to 24, the event closing just four days ahead of the Commonwealth Games’ opening ceremony.

“Athletics Kenya has always sent a strong team to the Commonwealth Games and more often than not, most medals - sometimes all medals - are won by our athletes,” Mutwii said during the handover.

Amsterdam Marathon champion Jonathan Korir, who is also the teams’ captain and the fastest in the group, said he is happy to represent the country.

Korir, the team looks promising and they will be going to work hard to bag more medals when they compete.

“The team is good and we are happy because it was named early enough so that we can prepare well. We want to do what our compatriots did during the 2020 Tokyo Games by winning the medals on offer,” said Korir who trains at the Global Sports Communication stable in Kaptagat, Elgeyo Marakwet.

Maurine Chepkemoi, who won in Amsterdam last year with a PB of 2:20:18, headlines the women’s team that also includes last year’s Rotterdam Marathon champion Stella Barsosio (2:22:08).

Also in the team is Margaret Wangare, winner of the 2020 Los Angeles Marathon and 2019 Honolulu Marathon.

“We want to promise you that we shall come back with the medals, and not only the gold, but we shall fight for a clean sweep,” Wangare said.

NOC-K President Paul Tergat said the team will make the country proud.

“We have been given the best team for the marathon according to what we have been taken through in terms of their profile and we are confident that they will be able to do well once they line up for the race,” said Tergat.

Team Kenya

Men: Philemon Kacheran (2:05:19, Valencia, 2021), Jonathan Korir (2:04:32, Amsterdam, 2021), Eric Kiptanui (2:05:47, Siena, 2021), Michael Githae (2:07:51, Fukuoka, 2021)

Women: Maurine Chepkemoi (2:20:18, Amsterdam, 2021), Purity Changwony (2:22:16, Siena, 2021), Margaret Wangare (2:29:29, Los Angeles, 2020), Stella Barsosio (2:22:08, Rotterdam, 2021)

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