NAIROBI, Kenya, July 4- World champion and record holder David Rudisha is out of the 2013 Kenya trials for Moscow but his place in the men 800m squad is assured if he can recover sufficiently from the knee injury he suffered ahead of the New York Diamond League meeting.
Athletics Kenya (AK) vice-president David Okeyo said in Nairobi on Thursday they were in constant communication with the Olympics champion who is his country’s signature global star to monitor his progress.
“I speak to him daily and his doctors sent us the pictures of his knees which we gave to our own and we agreed he should be allowed to take time to recover well and I can confirm he will not be running at the trials,” Okeyo said in Nairobi.
“His place in the team is assured if he recovers well for three reasons, he is the world record holder, defending champion and Olympics champion and besides, he has set qualifying times this season already.”
The Kenya selection event is set for next Saturday, June 13 at Nairobi’s Nyayo Stadium to fill in the remaining slots in the country’s Track and Field team for the IAAF World Championships that will run in Moscow from Aug. 10 to 18.
According to Okeyo, the first two runners across the line will gain automatic entry with a panel of selectors convening to decide on the remaining places with Kenya seeking to send a bumper squad.
The deputy president explained defending champions and IAAF Diamond League winners from last season who are guaranteed automatic entry by the world governing body will be considered based on their current shape.
“In the case of the men’s steeplechase for instance, we can enter Ezekiel Kemboi and Diamond League champion, Paul Kipsiele Koech automatically and select the other two at the trials.”
“This consideration will be given to others who hold such titles but selectors will look at how they are performing before including them in the team and the announcement will be made before the Trials,” Okeyo said.
Apart from Rudisha and Kemboi, other titleholders in the running for a defence in Moscow include Edna Kiplagat (marathon women) who has already been named in the ultimate distance line-up released earlier this week and Asbel Kiprop, who clinched the men 1500m title.
Double world champion Vivian Cheruiyot (women 5000 and 10,000m) and Abel Kirui (men marathon) are already out of Moscow due to maternal duties and ankle injury in that order.
Silas Kiplagat (men 1500m), Isaiah Kiplangat (men 5000m) and Milcah Chemos (women steeplechase) are other 2012 Diamond League winners apart from Kipsiele who can be entered at the Moscow Worlds without going through the trials.
Former Olympics champion Pamela Jelimo (women 800m) who won the Diamond Race in her event last season, is however, out of the running for the Worlds due to injury.
“Only those athletes with qualifying times will be allowed to compete in the Trials to avoid the case of a runner winning the race and forcing us to look for an event to enter the athlete to get the qualifying time,” Okeyo underscored.
A list provided by the federation has 192 athletes invited to the trials including four in the men’s javelin where Africa record holder Julius Yego made history when he became the first from the continent to make the Olympics final last year.
That will be only the field event on the cards during the day-long selection event with the chosen team apart from the marathoners who are training in Iten scheduled to report for residential training in
The Kenyan team is set to depart for the Moscow Worlds on August 6.