Mutai to mull Daegu call-up

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NAIROBI, Kenya, May 5 – The fastest marathoner on the planet, Geoffrey Mutai will make his position on the call-up to the Kenyan team for the Daegu World Championships known after consultations.

"I need to talk to them (Athletics Kenya) and my management before I say whether I will accept or refuse. Discussions are going on," Mutai told Capital Sport on Thursday.

Mutai ran 2:03:02 to win April 18’s Boston Marathon, the quickest ever in the history of the ultimate distance race although it will not stand as the world record due to course limitations.

"I’ve have not rested enough after losing my training partner but I have begun light training. I will see how my programme looks like after the discussions are out of the way," he added.

Mutai’s training partner, Peter Kiprotich Cherus passed on a fornight ago in a fatal road crash in Iten.

The Boston champion who was runner-up in Rotterdam and Berlin last year, was earlier quoted in a local daily declining the Daegu call-up to focus on the Chicago or New York marathons saying he had run twice in the South Korean city without success.   

While announcing the squad, Athletic Kenya (AK) chair, Isaiah Kiplagat, said the federation was concerned Athletes’ Representatives would compel their clients to abscond Daegu for lucrative fall marathons.

"We are asking agents not to come in the way of our runners fulfilling their national duties to run for money in races like New York, Chicago and Honolulu," Kiplagat stressed.

Mutai has had a topsy-turvy relationship with AK since his first inclusion in the Kenyan 10000m squad for last year’s Africa Athletics Championships where he won bronze.

After the event, he threatened never to honour any other invitation to Team Kenya if he was not allowed to train by himself and when he was included in the senior men 12km squad for Punta Umbria World Cross, Mutai reported a week late as his request to prepare alone for Spain was turned down.

"We have had many top athletes like John Ngugi and Paul Tergat who stayed in our camp and performed well at the World Cross and if we allow Mutai to train alone, it will set a bad precendent since others will want the same," AK general secretary, David Okeyo, said at the time.

When he finished fifth in Punta Umbria where he went as the overwhelming favourite, Mutai stated, "Like I said last year, I have a unique training programme that prepares me for many distances and when I come to the national team, this is never considered and I never do well. We’ll see what happens in Boston."

True to his word, Mutai breezed to his jaw-dropping performance in a course considered one of the toughest in marathon running and AK duly named him in the provisional squad for the World Championships in Wednesday.

AK gave those named a week to confirm their acceptance in writting whereupon they will announce the final team that will have three months to prepare for the Daegu.

London champion, Emmanuel Mutai, Boston runner-up Moses Mosop, London bridesmaid, Martin Lel, Wilson Kwambai, Vincent Kipruto, Patrick Makau, Wilson Kipsang, Benjamin Kiptoo and Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot complete the men’s Worlds preliminary squad.

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