NAIROBI, Kenya, April 24- Once again, there is no space for World record holder, Patrick Makau in the Moscow World Championships squad after Athletics Kenya (AK) unveiled the provisional men and women marathon squads on Wednesday.
Makau, the 2:03:38 standard bearer who fell off the pace barely ten kilometres to the men’s race at Sunday’s London Marathon before finishing down the order in 11th, was also controversially overlooked for last year’s Olympics before he went on to win in Frankfurt.
Abel Kirui is in the running to attempt becoming the first triple world marathon champion in history when he was included in the men’s shortlist with fellow Daegu women’s winner, Edna Kiplagat making the preliminary squad as well.
Rita Jeptoo as well as Olympics and Worlds silver medallist, Priscah Jeptoo who are still celebrating their scintillating wins at Boston and London will rank among the favourites to run in Moscow in the women’s team.
In the men’s draft picks, the 2003 world champion over 5000m who was seventh in South Korea last time out, Eliud Kipchoge, is the surprise inclusion following his blistering 2:05:30 victorious maiden bow over the ultimate distance in Hamburg last Sunday.
Should he make the final squad, Kipchoge will make his sixth successive appearance at the biennial global showpiece, the most by a Kenyan runner.
Also missing out on the Moscow party is 2:03:02 marathoner, Geoffrey Mutai who also bombed out on his London debut as well as the silver winner from Daegu Vincent Kipruto who has faded out from the elite list since then.
While making the announcement, AK supremo, Isaiah Kiplagat, said the titleholders were not assured of their slots in the final line-up of ten with the possibility of a trial being staged should all the 20 probables confirm interest in donning the red, green and black strip in the ultimate distance event that kicks-off and concludes the Worlds programme.
“We have given them two weeks to respond and then we shall decide the final squad. Even if defending champions are given wildcards by IAAF, it is up to us to decide whether they will be in the team,” Kiplagat, told the press in Nairobi.
Berlin Worlds silver winner and London course record holder, Emmanuel Mutai is once again on the national team’s reckoning alongside Olympics bronze medallist, Wilson Kiprop who returned fifth in his London defence.
Mutai who failed to spark at the London Olympics where he was added late on to the field by finishing 17th redeemed his standing by coming close to regaining the London title before Ethiopia’s Tsegay Kebede, reeling him in the final kilometre to force him down the aisle.
Budding marathoner and 2008 World Cross junior 8km runner, Peter Some, who blasted to his lifetime best of 2:05:38 in winning the Paris Marathon is also in the running. His elder brother, Matthew Kisorio, the 2011 World Cross Kenya captain is currently serving a doping ban.
Having finished second in Berlin last year before improving to win the newest race in the World Marathon Majors roster, Tokyo Marathon in 2:06:50, Dennis Kimetto, the training partner to G. Mutai is also on the men’s shortlist.
Wien winner, Henry Sugut, former 3000m steeplechaser Bernard Kipyego (third Tokyo) and Stanchart Dubai fifth finisher, Bernard Koech round off the men’s probables.
Florence Kiplagat, the former Berlin winner and sixth finisher in London, last year’s London fifth placer Lucy Kabuu, Rotterdam champion, Jemima Jelagat, Wien titleholder, Filomena Cheyech and Daegu Marathon titleholder, Margaret Akai seal the women’s list.
Kiplagat won Kenya the World Cross and World Half Marathon crowns while Kabuu is the 2006 double Commonwealth champion.
“Some of them like Kabuu and Edna who have come to us and told us they are ready. We shall wait for others and if all confirm, we can even organise a trial to select the final team.
At the same time, AK also unveiled a probable squad of 58 led who have attained the Moscow qualifying standard by five world champions that will enter residential training next week in readiness for the Moscow Worlds in other distances.
World record holder, David Rudisha, David Rudisha (men 800m), Ezekiel Kemboi (men 3000m steeple), Asbel Kiprop (men 1500m) and women’s double 5000m and 10000m gold medallist Vivian Cheruiyot are the Daegu winners in the list.
“There also others who are under the surface who can be probables and shall not invite them to camp but we shall be monitoring their progress and if they make the Moscow qualifying times, they shall join the rest.
“We are in discussion with the IAAF to see that they do not compete in Diamond League races without seeing how their entry will be of benefit to us and we shall be tough on agents who enter them in races without our permission. We have powers to withdraw their contracts,” Kiplagat warned.
The AK chair announced the federation had abandoned plans to have Kenyan Trials for the men 10000m or any other distance being staged outside the country following the controversial Pre Fontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, where the 25-lap line-up was selected.
Kenya will hold her final Trials for Moscow in June.
PROBABLE MARATHON LIST
Wilson Kipsang, Henry Sugut, Bernard Kipyego, Mike Kipyego, Dennis Kimetto, Emmanuel Mutai, Peter Some, Eliud Kipchoge, Bernard Koech and Abel Kirui
Lucy Kabuu, Lydia Cheromei, Priscah Jeptoo, Edna Kiplagat, Sharon Cherop, Margaret Akai, Florence Kiplagat, Filomena Cheyech, Jemima Chelagat, Rita Jeptoo