Athletics Kenya has released the names of the marathon team that will represent Kenya at the Rio Olympics today. The team comprise 8 athletes, 4 men and 4 women.
London Marathon champions Eliud Kipchoge and Jemimah Sumgong are expected to lead the Kenyan marathoners.
Kipchoge, who is also the reigning Berlin Marathon champion and Sumgong, a runner-up in the Boston, Chicago and New York marathon meets, are part of the team of eight athletes named today by Athletics Kenya.
Kenyan men will be eyeing a second gold medal at the Olympics after the late Samuel Wanjiru won the country it’s maiden title in 2008 in Beijing. The women are chasing their first victory, Priscah Jeptoo having taken silver at the 2012 London Olympics.
According to a source from Riadha house, the team was named last week and athletes were given until yesterday to confirm there participation. This is so as to avoid a repeat of the scenario seen before 2013 and 2015 World Championships where some athletes withdrew from the squad after being selected.
The surprise inclusion in the men’s team of four is Cherangany MP Wesley Korir who finished fourth in Boston last month where he also won in 2012, the 2015 New York City Marathon champion Stanley Biwott who finished second in London behind Kipchoge and Paris Marathon champion Cyprian Kotut.
Kipchoge, who has represented Kenya 10 times in championship events, will be making a return to the team since 2011 World Championships where he finished fourth in 5,000m, having won the World title and claimed silver at the 2008 Olympics in 5,000m.
World record holder Dennis Kimetto and Olympic marathon bronze medallist Wilson Kipsang have been overlooked. Both failed to finish their marathon race at last year’s World Championships in Beijing.
Sumgong will team up with World Half Marathon record holder Florence Kiplagat, who finished third in London last month, World marathon silver medallist Helah Kiprop and Paris Marathon champion Visiline Jepkesho.
Sumgong survived a heavy fall at 37km mark to claim her first London Marathon, edging out defending champion Tigist Tufa from Ethiopia to second place.
Team: Eliud Kipchoge, Stanley Biwott, Cyprian Kotut, Wesley Korir (Men).
Jemimah Sumgong, Helah Kiprop, Florence Kiplagat, Visiline Jepkesho.