NAIROBI, Kenya, July 20- World 1500m leader, Nixon Chepseba’s dream of appearing in his first World Championships dissipated on Wednesday when Athletics Kenya (AK) demoted him to the All Africa Games squad.
At the same time, the federation has whittled down the squad to the Maputo Pan African Games to fit the Kenya National Sports Council (KNSC) quota of 44 in further changes to the teams announced on Saturday after conclusion of the National Championships.
“We are swapping Chepseba who was named in the World Championships and he will be running in the All African Games with Komen who was named in the All Africa team,” AK first vice-chairman, Lt. Gen. (Rtd) Jack Tuwei, told reporters.
He added: “We realised there was a mistake and we are taking this earliest opportunity to rectify the situation before the team assembles for training.”
The declaration ended the dream of the 21-year-old Chepseba who set the world leading 3:31.42 while winning the second Samsung Diamond League meeting in Shanghai.
AK said a ‘typing error’ while the two squads were being compiled on Saturday saw Chepseba announced as a recipient of wildcard selection in the men 1500m after he finished fifth in the final.
Kipchirchir Komen, who is featuring in his first full season after appendicitis and a torn ligament, saw him miss most of the past three campaigns, finished third at the Trials.
“I’m happy to be competing regularly again and the injuries that have slowed me down are behind me. I’m feeling stronger each day and my prayer is to return to top form,” he said after qualifying for the final.
His two previous outings at the World Championships in Helsinki and Osaka saw him crashing out of competition at the heats (2005) and semis (2007).
“We are certain his past record will motivate him to perform his best in Daegu,” AK treasurer, Joseph Kinyua, told Capital Sport when Kipchirchir Komen’s Worlds’ credentials were pointed out.
The Korea-bound team will report to camp at Nairobi’s Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani next Tuesday ahead of the August 27 to September 4 global track and field showpiece.
At the same time, the federation that had named some 90 athletes for the Maputo All Africa Games were compelled to trim the squad by almost half following the KNSC directive.
“We have placed six other competitors on stand by since we have petitioned them to increase the number to 50,” Tuwei said.
Most of those axed were field and sprint athletes with the squad for the Pan Africa Games set to run from September 3 to 18 expected to check in their camp on August 14.
REVISED AAG SQUAD
Anderson Mureta (200m/400m), Vincent Mumo, Mark Mutai (400m), Julius Rotich (400m Hurdles), Job Kinyor, David Mutinda, Boaz Lalang (800m), Nixon Chepseba, Collins Cheboi, Caleb Mwangangi (1500m), Willy Komen, Abel Mutai, Jairus Kipchoge (3000m s/chase), Mark Kiptoo, Jacob Chesari, Vincent Yator (5000m), Paul Tanui, Josphat Bett, Bidan Kaloki (10000m), Bernard Kipyego, Leonard Kipkoech (half marathon), Julius Sawe, Daniel Parsoloi (20km race walking).
Joy Sakari, Grace Kidake (400m), Maureen Jelagat (400m/400m Hurdles), Sylvia Chesebe, Nelly Jepkosgei, Jane Jelagat (800m), Irene Jelagat, Joyce Chepkurui, Ann Karindi (1500m), Lydia Chepkurui, Eunice Jepkorir (3000m s/chase), Esther Chemtai, Hyvin Kigen (5000m), Pauline Korikwiang, Pauline Njeri, Grace Momanyi (10000m), Sarah Chepchirchir, Peninah Arusei (half marathon), Grace Thoithi, Rebecca Jeptum (20km race walking).