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Wildcards axed from final WXC squad

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MERCY-CHEBWOGENNAIROBI, Kenya, March 11- Mercy Cherono and Vincent Chepkok will not get the chance to add to their medals after they were dropped from the final traveling squad for the March 24 Bydgoszcz World Cross on Monday.

Cherono won the junior women title in the same Polish city three years ago after losing the top medal to Genzebe Dibaba a year prior while Chepkok who was eighth at the February 16 trials won his second medal (senior bronze) in 2011 having scooped silver as a junior at the 2007 edition in Mombasa.

Cherono who won the African senior title in 2011 had been included in the provisional squad despite finishing 48th at the Trials owing to her strong showing in the European Cross circuit that included a polished victory in Seville.

Completing the non-travelling list is the remaining wildcard and World junior women 3000m steeplechase champion, Mercy Chebwogen will also be left behind after getting outside selection in the junior women 6km event.

“The team is ready to conquer the world,” AK vice-president and team leader, Paul Mutwii said while releasing the final line-up.

The team will leave next Wednesday (March 20) and return from Poland two days after the event.

Earlier the federation axed reigning World Cross junior men titleholder Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor from the team.

AK decided that the athlete who recently won the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in the UAE and was included in the senior men 12km line-up as a wildcard would not feature after he failed to honour his call-up.

Also dropped from the squad is Bernard Kipkemoi, the sixth finisher in the junior men 8km race at the Nationals on February 16 due to technicalities in processing his travel documents.

In his stead, Michael Bett, who finished a place behind him during the selection event was called-up and reported to the team’s camp in Embu, 200km from Nairobi.

The team resumed training last Tuesday after taking a break to participate in the General Elections.

Following the release of the final squad, Emily Chebet, who won senior women gold when the World Cross was last staged in Poland three years ago and Faith Chepng’etich Kipyegon who raced to the junior title in Punta Umbria in 2011 are the most recognisable athletes in the team.

AK finally confirmed that Hosea Macharinyang would make a national record eighth appearance at the World Cross though the veteran is yet to medal.

Philemon Rono who won the senior men’s trial will lead the slew of exciting debutants in the line-up that is gearing for a repeat top medal sweep Kenya achieved in Poland three years ago.

A total of 11 officials will also travel with the squad.

SQUAD

Senior Men:

1. Kiptoo Timothy Kosgei

2. Kirui Geoffrey Kipkorir

3. Korir Japhet Kipyegon

4. Macharinyang Hosea Mwok

5. Ndiku Jonathan Muia

6. Rono Philemon

Junior Men:

1. Barsoton Leonard

2. Bett Micheal

3. Kiprono Emmanuel Bett

4. Kipruto Conseslus

5. Kwemoi Ronald

6. Letoyie Moses Mukono

Senior Women:

1. Chebet Emily

2. Cheptai Irene

3. Kibiwot Viola Jelagat

4. Kisa Janeth

5. Muriuki Margaret Wangari

6. Mutai Beatrice Chepkemei

Junior Women:

1. Chepngetich Roseline

2. Kaveki Pauline

3. Keter Sheila Chepngetich

4. Kipkirui Caroline Chepkoech

5. Kipyegon Faith Chepngetich

6. Tirop Agnes Jebet

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