Kamworor, Kipruto to renew rivalries with Doha tickets on the line

Three-time World Half Marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor and World Under-20 10000m champion Rhonex Kipruto are set to light up Nyayo National Stadium when the National Athletics Championships takes place from August 20 to 22.

While the trials for the World Championships is slated for September 3 at the same venue, the 10000m races for both men and women will be used to select Kenya’s team for the global showpiece penciled for September 28 to October 6 in Doha, Qatar.

Kamworor who has been regarded the king for both track and road races will have to deal with the youthful Kipruto who is no doubt one of Kenya’s finest talents over the distance.

The duo last clash was at this year’s World Cross Country Championships with Kamworor settling for a bronze medal while Kipruto came sixth.

After storming to an easy win at the National Police Service, Kamworor revealed that he was not yet decided if he will be competing at the Worlds since he may opt to take a shot at the Copenhagen Half Marathon which comes a week before the World Championships after his entry was confirmed June.

Although the pair may be the favorites on paper, World Under-20 10000m silver medalist Stanley Waithaka should not be ignored either being one of the 10 athletes who have already hit the qualification mark of 27:40.00 alongside Kamworor and Kipruto.

Other athletes who will be fighting for the three available tickets to Doha are Kenya Prisons Service trio of Charles Muneria, Wilfred Kimitei and Peter Emase.

Rhonex Kipruto clocks 27:08 in New York (NYRR/IAAF/organisers)
Rhonex Kipruto clocks 27:08 in New York (NYRR/IAAF/organisers)

The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) will unleash Alfred Barkach, Vedic Cheruiyot and Alex Oloititip as Josephat Kipchirchir, Cosmas Birech and Gilbert Kimunyan line up for Central Rift region.

Athletics Kenya (AK) had earlier stated that there will be no use of wild cards at the trials safe for defending champions and Diamond League winners, meaning that the top three to cross the finish line in both men and women will bag direct tickets to Doha.

In the women race, a tough encounter is also expected with the World 5000m champion Hellen Obiri representing KDF set to make an appearance for the first time in the race that will see her team up with the World Half Marathon record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei and African Games-bound Irene Kimais.

Commonwealth Games 10000m silver medalist Stacy Ndiwa, former World Cross Country champion Agnes Tirop and former African Games champion Alice Aprot are also among the star attraction.

Others are the former World Cross Country Irene Cheptai who is returning from maternity as well as South Rifts duo of Sandrafelis Chebet and Monica Chirchir who is in Kenya’s team for African Games.

The 10000m races are scheduled for Wednesday as the championship enters its second day.

Other races will not be used to select teams for the World Championships as trials as slated for September 3 which will be only through invitation.

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