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Kenyan athletes arrive in Poland confident of dominating, winning half marathon

By Amos Abuga
Thursday, October 15th, 2020
Peres Jepchirchir.
In summary

ATHLETICS: Team Kenya for this year’s World Athletics Half Marathon Championships to be held in Gdynia, Poland on Saturday is confident of delivering after arriving at the Polish city.

Head coach Patrick Makau believes the absence of the men’s defending champion Geoffrey Kamworor in Kenya’s starting list, is not a cause for  alarm as the other members of the team are equally up to the task.

He said the team, will use the three days to acclimatise before the championships.

amworor, who is also the world half-marathon record holder, has returned to training after a motorbike accident in Eldoret in June but opted not to seek his fourth consecutive world half-title as he continues his recovery.

Makau, a former world marathon record holder himself, said he is optimistic the selected squad will clinch both the team and individual titles on offer.

“Athletics Kenya selected a strong team and despite Kamworor’s absence I think I have a good squad which will do wonders on Saturday.

We’re aware of the challenge ahead of us but we will ensure the team title remains in Kenya and that means also at the individual level we must do very well,” said Makau before the team departed on Tuesday night.

Kenya has put its hopes on Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) and Prague Half Marathon champion Kibiwott Kandie and 2017 World Cross Country Championships silver medallist Leonard Barsoton.

Maurice Munene, Bernard Kipkorir and Bernard Kimeli are also in the men’s squad.

Fresh from setting a new women’s only world record in Prague with a time of 1:05:34, Peres Jepchirchir will lead the Kenyan women’s side alongside Monicah Wanjiru, who has a 1:09:29 best set last year, Brilliant Jepkorir, Dorcas Kimeli, and Joceline Jepkosgei.

The championship was initially scheduled for March 29 but rescheduled following the global COVID-19 pandemic.