NAIROBI, Kenya, April 30 – Olympic marathon champion Samuel Wanjiru and reigning World champion Catherine Ndereba are among ten athletes selected for this year’s World Athletics Championships in Berlin.Athletics Kenya (AK) settled on a mixture of youth and experience making their selection based on the athletes’ performances in the last few months.
Twenty two year old Wanjiru who won the 2009 London marathon last Sunday will be joined by Rotterdam marathon winner Duncan Kibet who became the second fastest man in the world with a 2:04:27 time on April 5.
James Kwambai who was second in the same Rotterdam race, Emmanuel Mutai who finished fourth in London marathon for the second consecutive year last Sunday and Daniel Rono who was second in Boston on April 20 completes the men’s team.
Reigning world champion Luke Kibet just about failed to make the team and will be in as a reserve together with four time Boston champion Robert ‘Mwafrika’ Cheruiyot, Vienna marathon champion Abel Kirui, three time London winner Martin Lel and David Kipkorir.
In the women’s squad two time champion Ndereba will attempt defend her title and will have 2009 Boston marathon champion Salina Kosgei for company.
The rest are all new faces with 2009 Turin marathon champion Agnes Kiprop, Hellen Kiprop and Irene Limika set to make their debuts for the country in the 42K distance.
2008 Paris champion Martha Komu, Rispa Kimaiyo, Lydia Cheromei, Irene Mogaka and former World Cross Country short course champion Edith Masai are the reserves for the women.
AK Chairman Isaiah Kiplagat said the association had picke dteh team based on merit and was looking to blood new talent.
“The women’s team especially has several new faces which can only be good for Kenya. Hopefully they will work hard and take over from Ndereba and Kosgei who have represented us for a very long time,” said Kiplagat.
Wanjiru had stated his intention to skip the World event but Kiplagat told the press on Thursday that he was hopeful he would honour the call up.
“We will talk to him and hope that he runs in Berlin. We know he wants to set a new world record and since the course that Berlin marathon uses will be the same for the championships, then we are hopeful that he will agree and even break the record there which would be a fantastic achievement,” he observed.