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Kenya eyes long distance comeback


WILSON-KIPROPNAIROBI, July 10- Kenya’s long distance men’s team is hoping to end 12 years of frustration at the Commonwealth Games by regaining the 5000m and 10000m titles in Glasgow.

Kenya dominated both races at the 2002 games in Manchester, England but have since been overshadowed by their Ugandan rivals in the past two Commonwealth Games in Australia and India.

They also lost the 2012 London Olympics and 2013 world championships 5000m and 10000m titles to Britain’s Mo Farah.

“We lost the 5,000m and 10,000m in New Delhi four years ago. We cannot make a repeat of the same mistake in Glasgow,” Kenya’s athletics coach Boniface Tiren told AFP at the team’s training camp at the Kasarani stadium.

Kenya has entered a relatively young team in the 10,000m led by former world junior champion, Josephat Bett and the 2011 national champion Peter Kirui, who is best known as an elite marathon pacesetter.

World indoor reigning 3,000m gold medallist Caleb Mwangangi Ndiku will spearhead the Kenyan 5,000m challenge alongside the 2013 world championships bronze medallist, Isiah Kiplangat.

“We will look to get hold of Mo Farah too and the titles will be ours,” said Tiren.

Ndiku, who has set two world-leading times over the 5,000 meters distance this year, is among a dozen Kenyan athletes in Glasgow for this weekend’s IAAF Grand Prix, two weeks before the start of the Commonwealth Games in the Scottish city.

Others are Olympic 800m champion and world record holder David Rudisha, former world indoor 3,000m champion Hellen Obiri and Milcah Chemos, the 2013 world 3,000m steeplechase gold medallist.