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AK to unveil Daegu line-up Wednesday

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 10- The final marathon squad for summer’s Daegu World Championships will be known on Wednesday.

Athletics Kenya (AK) chair, Isaiah Kiplagat declined Tuesday to divulge how many of the 20 selected in the provisional team last week had so far accepted the invitation to compete for their nation.

“We will announce the final team tomorrow (Wednesday) after the close of the deadline we had set,” Kiplagat said.

The men’s probable Daegu Worlds line-up features Boston champion and fastest ever over the distance Geoffrey Mutai, runner-up Moses Mosop, London winner, Emmanuel Mutai, Wilson Kwambai, Vincent Kipruto, Martin Lel, Patrick Makau, Wilson Kipsang, Benjamin Kiptoo and Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot.

London titleholder, Mary Keitany, New York champion, Edna Kiplagat, Boston victor, Caroline Kilel, Sharon Cherop, Priscah Jeptoo, Lydia Cheromei, Philes Ongori, Caroline Rotich, Agnes Kiprop and Alice Timbilil made the women’s list.

Cheromei set the new Prague Marathon course record on Sunday and the team had no place for defending men’s champion, Abel Kirui and twice women’s titleholder, Catherine Ndereba who had expressed interest to go for a third gold in Daegu.

At the same time, Kiplagat declared a Marathon Management Committee would be formed to turn the Mombasa, Nairobi, Kisumu and Eldoret marathons into a jackpot series in a bid to raise the profile of local events.

“We have a committee in IAAF that runs golden marathon jackpots and we want to start that in here Kenya so that they can work out on the modalities and call the four organisers to sit together and come up with modalities about it,” Kiplagat said.

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The AK boss added they would seek to harmonies the price kitties of the four events to bring them at the same level.

“We do not want one paying Sh1.5m (Stanchart Nairobi) and another Sh200,000 (Safaricom Mombasa) before we start discussing about the jackpot. To reach that, we have to look for more sponsors to support these events.”

On whether the proposed move was shaped to respond to fears international circuits were plotting to bar Kenyan athletes from competing in their races with the recent Utrecht Marathon saga in mind, Kiplagat expressed;

“Kenyans are still the most attractive runners today. If there are no Kenyans in a marathon, that marathon will not be there since sponsors will pull out since they want to see the best. It’s a fact of life.

“No sponsor wants to see people running 2:50 in London, they will stop coming since they want to see people running 2:05, 2:03, 2:02 so it is difficult to say there are no Kenyans running in a marathon.”

Meanwhile, over 500 runners are expected top start Sunday’s Mombasa International Marathon that will start and end at Treasury Square.

The route will snake through Mama Ngina Drive, Likoni, Ganjoni., Docks, Shimanzi, High Level, Makupara., Makupa round about, Jela Baridi, Kizingo, Tudor 4, Mombasa Polytechnic University, Msatti, St Johns, Saba Saba, Nyali back to Makupa round about and all the way to the finish.

On Tuesday, title sponsors and mobile phone service providers, Safaricom, presented Sh992,000 to organisers.

Uganda’s Alex Malunga and Gerard Omondi have registered for the race.

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