Kipchoge, Kosgei to headline marathon team to Tokyo

Monday, January 20th, 2020 00:00 |
Winners of the men’s and women’s elite race at last year’s London Marathon Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei display their plaques. Photo//FILE

World record holders Eliud  Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei will be the first names when Athletics Kenya (AK) picks the Marathon team for Tokyo Olympics this week.

AK senior vice-president Paul Mutwii who also doubles up as the competition’s docket boss revealed the two world beaters will be in the team with the rest of the slots to be filled on either availability or form. Kenya will name up to six probable marathoners in each gender.

“We don’t have much time really. We have reached out to the probables and therefore the list will be made public this week.

We strongly believe starting early preparations will be key to defending our titles from four years ago,” Mutwii disclosed.

With a number of athletes expected to take part in other races before the July 24 - August 9  Games, Mutwii says adequate planning is key to having a good outing.

Marathon, walk race

“Remember in Rio we won both men’s and women’s marathon where Eliud and Jemimah Sumgong were the winners. It’s unfortunate Sumgong has since been banned for doping,” he continued.

The Olympics marathon and walk race competitions will be hosted in the city of Sapporo in the Hokkaido Prefecture, which is about 800km from Tokyo.

Shift of venue by the International Olympic Committee was prompted by the high temperatures expected in Tokyo during the day.

The women’s marathon will be held on August 8 and the men’s race the following day.

Meanwhile, Mutwii says whoever who will make to the team must be a clean  therefore urging all athletes to desist from cheating.

“We have rules from Athletics Integrity Unit AIU which must be adhered to . We have an obligation to follow the  laid-down rules. As a Category A” doping nation, all eyes will be on us,” he concluded.

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