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Heartbreak as Ongori is forced out of Glasgow

ONGORI-OUTNAIROBI, Kenya, July 21- Birmingham World Half Marathon silver medallist, Philes Ongori, has been forced out of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games due to a heartbreaking 11th hour injury.

Track and field team manager Paul Mutwii, confirmed the development to Capital Sport on Monday, saying it was too late to replace her in the women’s marathon team meaning former Boston winner Caroline Kilel and Pauline Cheyech will chase the medals in Scotland.

“Ongori is not coming with us because she reported to me two days ago that her recurring injury has failed to heal and therefore, requested to excuse herself from the team.

“For now it’s too late to replace her because of logistics like visa accreditation and air tickets so with that it’s not possible to any other. The two ladies left in the race assured us they are capable of coming home with gold,” Mutwii, who is also an Athletics Kenya vice-president, told.

However, the team manager was not pleased with the preparation of the entire team-Kenya squad for the Commonwealth Games that has been hindered by delayed allowances, lack of kitting and visa complications.

“I want to appreciate athletes for being patient despite the challenges they encountered. These are some of the things that could have made athletes to strike but they maintained peace.

“Up to now we have not been provided fully with the kit, there is a lot remaining but with half of the squad in Glasgow, we are joining them tonight with only the 3000m steeple chase as well as 10,000m teams remaining behind,” Mutwii underscored.

Kilel the two-time Frankfurt champion was also a victim after being forced to reschedule her Sunday flight when she was forced back from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport since her name was not entered properly on the air ticket.

Kilel will be eyeing gold in her maiden appearance at the Club Games after using the local circuit to prepare for the assignment where she finished second at this year’s Kericho International Marathon.

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“I have trained well for the and being my first time to compete, I want to bring gold home because after Kericho marathon, I competed in a 10km road race in Boston and Holland so my body is responding well.

“I have ran in the Glasgow course back in 2009 where I finished fourth. Because I’m familiar with the route, I believe I will win a medal. We are strong despite Ongori pulling out in the last minute. Cheyech and I have personal bests of 2:22

“Since there are no Ethiopians in Commonwealth, competition will be amongst us,” the 33-year-old who trains in Kericho told Capital Sport.

The marathon team has been training in Iten under head coach Abraham Kiplimo and will be looking to retain both titles they won in Delhi.

Eleven athletes, including defending men marathon champion, John Ekilu Kilai were scheduled to depart for Glasgow later Monday.

Other disciplines have not been spared the woes blamed on a prosaic National Olympics Committee-Kenya (Nock).

Five cyclists led by veteran David Kinja, team manager Angela Achieng, Mary Mburu, Caroline Ondiege and Doreen Musoliza are still in the country after their applications for accreditations bounced back due to anomalies in biometric data.

Kinja confirmed the matter has been settled after applying manually from the travel documents and they are expected to depart any time.

“The problem was on the biometric application and being their first time to travel abroad for some of the athletes. We have done the process afresh and everything is okay now,” the mentor of last year’s Tour De France winner, the Kenyan born British rider, Chris Froome, said.

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