NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 22 – World Half Marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor will pass up the chance to compete at his third World Championships, and instead focus his energy on reclaiming his New York Marathon title in November.
Despite his victory in Wednesday’s Kenya’s trials for the World Championships in Nairobi, Kamworor has revealed he will overlook the trip to Doha and work hard to reclaim his title in the Big Apple on November 3.
The 26-year-old was second in Beijing in 2015 and sixth in London in 2017 in the 10,000m race.
The three-time world half marathon champion won the race ahead of compatriot and world junior 5,000m champion Rhonex Kipruto and Rodgers Kwemoi, but says he wants a new crop of young talent to pick up the baton and seek to exorcise the demons that have seen Kenya miss out on winning gold on the longest track competition for a record 18 years.
“I’m happy for the good race. I will, however, not change my mind concerning the World Championships in Doha. I give my colleagues the blessing to go to represent us in Doha,” said Kamworor on Thursday.
“However, I will be available to help them in training and give advice and inspiration to the team as they prepare. As a country, we want to work hard and see that we bring the gold home,” Kamworor said.
The last time Kenya won the men’s 10,000m was in Edmonton, Canada back in 2001, when Charles Kamathi emerged from obscurity to stun Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia.
“18 years is a long time and we need to recapture it,” added Kamworor.
Athletics Kenya (AK) has since given Alex Oloitiptip the ticket to his first World Championships. The 29-year-old recently finished eighth at the Jianzhen International Half Marathon in Yangzhou, China.
AK Vice Chairman Barnaba Korir says Kenya will have to be at their best to reclaim the gold medal from the jaws of Ethiopia and Britain’s Mo Farah.
“I am convinced winning the event on the global stage is all about self-belief and that is what we want to instill in our runners,” Korir said.
“We believe if they can start their preparations now, they will be at their peak by the time we head to Doha. It’s not a secret that the 10,000m title has been elusive at the world stage for some time now with Mo Farah and the Ethiopians calling the shots.”