Kipchoge, Kosgei lead Kenyan marathon stars to Tokyo 2020

World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge will defend his Olympic title in Tokyo after he was selected in the Kenyan men’s marathon team for the July 24 – August 9 Summer Games.

Fellow world record holder Brigid Kosgei will lead the women’s team that also has world marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich and the 2018 London Marathon champion Vivian Cheruiyot.

Athletics Kenya (AK) unveiled the 10-member team on Friday, months of speculation surrounding the team for the global showpiece where the country collected both male and female gold medals in the previous edition at Rio 2016.

The team has three men and an equal number of women as well as two reserves in each category and Kipchoge is joined by world marathon bronze medalist Amos Kipruto, Boston Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono.

The 2016 World Half Marathon silver medalist Bedan Karoki and Honolulu Marathon champion Titus Ekiru are on stand-by while Frankfurt Marathon champion Valary Aiyabei and Sally Chepyego were also selected as reserves.

Kipchoge has won 11 of his 12 official marathons, including the 2016 Rio Olympics, and with the world record and the sub-two hour mark under his belt, along with a string of lucrative big-city races he is a colossus of his sport.

He became the first man to run a marathon under two hours in October last and also set the official world record for the distance of 2:01.39 in Berlin in 2018.

Before attempting his title defence, the 35-year-old has a titanic battle four months in advance as he is set to go head to head at this year’s London Marathon on April 26.

The event held at Riadha House was graced by Ministry of Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed, Chief Administrative Secretary Hasaan Noor Hassan, Principal Secretary for Sports Joe Okudo as well as Principal Secretary for Culture Josephta Mukobe

Others were team Kenya Chef de Mission Waithaka Kioni and AK officials.

AK president Jack Tuwei said the team will kick off their training in Kaptagat on May 1.

Tuwei further urged all the athletes to compete clean at the Summer Games.

“It is a shame that our gold medalist in women marathon at the Rio Olympics was banned. That is not good and we don’t want a repeat of the same at this years championship.

The event was preceded by the national cross country championships launch where Lotto Foundation pumped in a sponsorship worth Sh8 million.

The national cross country championships which will also double as trials for the Africa Cross Country championships will be held on February 8 at the Uhuru Gardens.

Selected team for Tokyo Olympics

Eliud Kipchoge
Amos Kipruto
Lawrence Cherono

On Standby
Bedan Karoki
Titus Ekiru

Brigid Kosgei
Ruth Chepngetich
Vivian Cheruiyot

On Standby
Valary Aiyabei
Sally Chepyego

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