In-form marathon great Eliud Kipchoge will skip the world championships in Doha as he prepares for another tilt at breaking the event’s mythical two-hour barrier.
Geoffrey Kirui instead heads up the Kenyan men’s quintet announced on Tuesday while two-time title holder Edna Kiplagat leads the women’s quartet for the Doha worlds, scheduled for September 27-October 6.
However, newly-crowned London marathon women’s winner Brigid Kosgei, the youngest-ever to win the coveted title, was among the top names not included in the nine-runner squad announced by Athletics Kenya.
Kiplagat returns for her fifth-consecutive world championships. She has form at the world championships, having lead an historic Kenyan cleansweep in the 2011 words in South Korea.
She returned two years later to defend her world title in Moscow, becoming the first woman ever to do so. But Kosgei is a surprise exclusion from the squad.
The in-form 25-year-old last month become the youngest London marathon winner in history. Vivian Cheruiyot, a double 5000m and 10000m world champion, was also a surprise omission from the women’s line-up.
Men’s Olympic champion Kipchoge had asked to be excluded because the Doha meet clashes with a special race in which the Olympic champion will try and break the two-hour marathon barrier. Kipchoge went close to smashing the barrier when he came in 25 seconds off the mark in a staged race around Italy’s Monza race circuit in 2017. He will make a second attempt in a special race to be held between late September and early October, likely in London.
Kenyan marathon squads
for World Championships
Men: Geoffrey Kirui, Paul Lonyangata, Amos Kipruto, Laban Korir, Ernest Ngeno
Women: Edna Kiplagat, Visline Jepkesho, Sally Kipyego, Ruth Chepngetich.
Kenya’s marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge. (Reuters)