Viola handed wildcard


NAIROBI, August 15 – Viola Kibiwott has been included in the national athletics team that will compete at this year’s World Athletics Championships.VIOLA_KIBIWOTTShe had finished sixth at the national athletics trials held in Nairobi last month but Athletics Kenya officials said on Wednesday that she will join Olympic champion Nancy Jebet Langat and Irene Jelegat in the team for Berlin.

Kibiwott competed at last year’s Beijing Olympic Games but bowed out in the semifinals.

At the same time AK Chairman Isaiah Kiplagat has urged the athletes to do even better at the championships.

Speaking as he officially launched the team’s camp, Kiplagat urged the athletes to outshine the 2007 team which won five gold medals.

“We are going there to defend five gold medals and I believe that we can do even better than in Osaka two years ago,” he said.

“This is the largest team we have ever sent to a championship and we are hoping that it will bring back the bets results we have ever achieved,” he added.

Kiplagat urged the athletes to put the interests of the nation before their own as they strive for success. “I know all athletes have agents but let’s listen to the coaches and follow whatever plans they have for the team because we are carrying the flag of our nation.”

One of the athletes primed to represent the country will be Julia Mombi Muraga who will compete in marathon. The Japan based athlete will don the Kenyan vest for only the first time but she is confident of doing well.

“It’s a great honour to represent Kenya and I will strive to ensure that I give it my best. I was a reserve in 2007 but did not get a chance but now it has come and I shall give it my all,” she said.

Team captain Alfred Kirwa Yego promised that the team will do everything within its powers to get the results, “We know we are carrying the hopes of an entire nation and after how we performed in Beijing, my colleagues will do their level best to ensure that we achieve similar results if not better.”

The team will depart for Berlin on August 10 and will be back on August 24.