Athletics Kenya names marathon team for Rio Olympics

Athletics Kenya names marathon team for Rio Olympics

Athletics Kenya has named a team that will represent the country in marathon at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro slated for August 12 to 21.

The list announced on Tuesday comprises of Eliud Kipchoge, Stanley Biwott and Wesley Korir as Kenya’s representatives in the male category with Cyprian Kotut and Bernard Kipyego being named in the reserve team.

Helah Kiprop, Jemimah Sumgong and Visiline Jepkesho will represent Kenya in the women race, with Mary Keitany and Florence Kiplagat being named in the reserve team.

The marathon team will be coached by Richard Metto.

AK has further asked the team to report to Athletics Kenya offices in Riadha House on May 16, 2016 at 10am.

The late Samuel Kamau Wanjiru won Kenya her first and only Olympics marathon gold during the 2008 Beijing Games in an event record of 2:06:32.

Wakiihuri, Eric Wainaina (bronze 1996, silver 2000) and Abel Kirui (2012) are the only other Kenyan men to medal at the Olympics with Catherine Ndereba (silver 2004 and 2008) and Priscah Jeptoo (silver 2012) coming closest to the honours for women.

The federation will also be seeking to win Olympics medals outside the distance running traditional breadbasket.

Cyprian Kotut expressed his delight in featuring for the squad saying he would work hard to earn a final slot.

“I am happy that I have been named even if it’s as a reserve. I will work hard and closely with my coach Claudio and ensure am in the final squad. It would be a great honor to run with Eliud Kipchoge; It would be a dream come true,” said the Paris marathon winner.

Korir on his part said he was honoured to be named in the squad, adding that he was pacing for his wife who is interested in joining the Canadian team.

“I am honored to be named in the team; it actually came as a surprise to me. I started pacing for my wife on Monday for a period of six weeks because she wants to make it into Canada’s marathon team for the Olympics,” said Korir.

“I shall continue pacing for her as I do my serious training. I feel that my body will acclimatize to the weather well and make it into the final team,” he said.

Athletics Kenya President Jackson Tuwei praised Metto’s credentials stating that the coach is experienced in marathon tactics and already coaches a group of elite athletes based in Iten.

Metto last traveled with team Kenya to Moscow for the 2013 world championships.