Veterans and new blood make Commonwealth team

Veterans and new blood make  Commonwealth team

Veterans and new blood make Commonwealth team

After a grueling day of trial at a dusty Kasarani on Saturday, Athletics Kenya finally picked a team of 65 athletes, 36 men and 29 women to represent Kenya in the Common Wealth games set for Gold Coast, Australia in April.The team is a good  balance of experience and upcoming talent.

Apart from World 5,000 metres champion Hellen Obiri who got a wild card to the games, the rest had to battle for the first three positions to secure a slot in the Kenyan contingent for the club games.

World under 18 3,000m silver medalist Edward Zakayo was the toast of the day as he stunned a pack of seasoned athletes to claim the first ticket in the men 5,000m.

It will be a case of second chance for Elijah Manangoi who also secured a slot in the 1,500m alongside Timothy Cheriot and Kumar Taki. Managoi finished 11th in the 2014 games but has gone ahead to win the Olympic gold.

Julius Yego (Javelin) and Purity Cherotich (3,000m steeplechase) will be out to defend their titles while Joesphat Bett  (5,000m) will be out to erase the 2014 memories when he thought he had won only to be beaten by 0.03  seconds by Ugandan Moses Kipsiro.

The trio of Beatrice Jepkoech, Winny Chebet and Mary Wangari will be Kenya’s hopes in the 1,500m race with Kenya missing Olympic Champion Faith Kipyegon who is out for maternal duties.

Both the men’s and women’s teams for the 3,000m steeplechase look clear favorite for the medals. Cellphine Chespol was in sizzling form on Saturday to bag the top place finish. Conseslius Kipruto will join youngsters Abraham Kibiwott and Amos Kirui in the men’s race. Kipruto suffered stomach pains but still made the team.

The absence of 800m World record holder David Rudisha who opted to concentrate on the Diamond league leaves Jonathan Kitilit, Wycliffe Kimanyal and Cornelius Kipkoech with the arduous task to bag Kenya a medal.

Three-time African Champion and 2010 Commonwealth Games medallist Grace Wanijiru will seek to improve her bronze to something better in the 20km Women’s walk where she will have Linda Wanjiru for company.

Kenya’s team will also be making a stab on shorter races with Mark Otieno making the cut in the men 100m race.

Team Kenya for Commonwealth Games

  • Men 100m ( Mark Otieno)
  • Men 200m ( Peter Mwai, Mike Mokamba)
  • Womens 200m ( Joan Cherono, Millicent Ndoro)
  • Women 400m (Boniface Mweresa, Collins Omae, Alex Sampao)
  • Women 400m (Maxmilla Emali, Veronica Mutua)
  • Men 400m Hurdles ( Nicholas Bett, Aaron Koech, Willy Mbevi)
  • Women 400m Hurdles ( Maureen Jelagat)
  • Men 110m Hurdles ( Kiprono Koskei)
  • Men 800m ( Jonathan Kitilit, Wycliffe Kimanyal, Cornelius Kipkoech)
  • Women 800m ( Emily Cherotich, Margaret Nyairera, Eglay Nalianya)
  • Men 1500m ( Timothy Cheruyiot, Elijah Manangoi, Kumari Taki)
  • Women 1500m (Beatrice Jepkoech, Winny Chebet, Mary Wangari)
  • Men 3000m Steeplechase ( Conseslius Kipruto,Abraham Kibiwott, Amos Kirui)
  • Women 3000m Steeplechase ( Cellphine Chespol, Purity Cherotich, Fancy Cherono)
  • Men 5000m ( Edward Zakayo, Nicholas Kipkorir, David Bett)
  • Women 5000m ( Hellen Obiri, Margaret Chelimo, Eva Cherono)
  • Men 10,000m ( Rodgers Kwemoi, Jonathan Ndiku, Josephat Bett)
  • Women 10,000m ( Sandra Felis Chebet,Stacy Ndiwa, Beatrice Mutai)
  • Men marathon ( Nicholas Kamakya, Kenneth Mburu, Julius Mungara)
  • Women Marathon ( Shelmith Muriuki, Sheila Jerotich, Hellen Nzembi)
  • Men Javelin ( Julius Yego, Alexander Kiprotich)
  • Women Long Jump ( Priscilla Tambunda)
  • Men Long Jump ( Bethwel Langat)
  • Men Triple Jump ( Elijah Kiplagat)
  • Decathlon ( Gilbert Kibiwott)
  • High Jump ( Mathew Sawe)
  • Women 20km walk ( Grace Wanjiru, Linda Waweru)
  • Men 20km Walk ( Samuel Gathimba)
  • Team Manager (Joseph Ochieng)

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