Kenyan marathon runners chase history in Qatar World Championships

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-30 20:26:21|Editor: Wu Qin
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NAIROBI, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- The allure of a back-to-back win for Geoffrey Kirui and a third win for Edna Kiplagat will inspire the Kenyan team to dominate the World Championships in Doha, Qatar starting from Sept. 28 to Oct. 6.

However, there will be no room for Ernest Ng'eno and former World Half Marathon Championships bronze medalist Sally Chepyego in the Kenya team as the duo have been axed.

The final team from Kenya will thus have the defending champion Kirui, Amos Kipruto, Laban Korir and Paul Lonyangata in the men's team while the women's has Kiplagat, Ruth Chepngetich and former Paris Marathon champion Visiline Jepkesho.

After missing out on the title in London in 2017, Kiplagat knows she is on the cliff and she has to get it right on her fifth attempt in Doha.

"We are prepared to do our best as a team during the World Championships. We will be working as a team to deliver the best results. It feels special for me because I will be chasing my last medal at this stage having been part of the team since 2011 in Daegu, South Korea," said Kiplagat on Friday in Nairobi.

For the first time in the history of marathon, the race in Doha will be staged at midnight to limit the damage of extreme heat on the athletes. The average temperatures in October in Doha sees highs of 35 degrees celsius and lows of 25.

The IAAF has sanctioned the event to be pushed back from the traditional start date due to weather (the event is now being hosted in October instead of August) and major action is being taken to ensure that athletes are able to perform in the extreme heat.

Kenya's athletics team manager Joseph Kiget says the marathon team is the best the country has ever assembled and will weather the storm from rivals Uganda, Ethiopia, USA and Japan.

"This team is very strong and we expect good results in Doha," said Kiget, noting that Kenya has selected a strong coaches team and he is confident that they will deliver good results in the championships.

"Kitting of the team has been a problem in the past but this time around, we have been able to deliver on time and we thank the AK for supplying the kits on time," he said.

Kiget also said that Kenyan marathoners will be taken through training in hot climatic conditions enable them to acclimatize to the conditions in Doha.

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