Most runners clean from doping poison

Thursday February 25 2016

Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor celebrates winning the men's senior race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Guiyang, southwest China's Guizhou province on March 28, 2015. We have good teams for the World Half Marathon and World Indoor Championships and we hope the dust on doping will settle quick enough, to allow the participants post good results. PHOTO | CHINA OUT |

Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor celebrates winning the men's senior race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Guiyang, southwest China's Guizhou province on March 28, 2015. We have good teams for the World Half Marathon and World Indoor Championships and we hope the dust on doping will settle quick enough, to allow the participants post good results. PHOTO | CHINA OUT | AFP

By BARNABAS KORIR
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With Kenyan athletics in focus amid ultimatums to be compliant in line with global anti-doping rules, I can only hope that the country will work round the clock to ensure normalcy resumes.

The doping issues are currently so pronounced that no one seems to care what else our athletes are doing.

For example, we have the World Half Marathon and World Indoor Championships coming up next month yet the two events have continued to receive minimum hype.

But we should not forget that many athletes are free of doping and would like to continue with their business of running.

That is why I have opted to talk about the two events rather than dwell on the negative.

However, this shouldn’t be misconstrued to mean that I do not care about what is happening in the country.

We all know that after darkness, there must be light and we believe the latter will eventually come.

The truth is that we have good teams for the two events and we hope the dust on doping will settle quick enough, to allow the participants post good results.

UPCOMING WORLD RACES

World Cross Country champion Geoffrey Kamworor and World Half Marathon record holder Florence Kiplagat lead Kenya’s team of 10 to the World Half Marathon Championships set for March 26 in Cardiff.

Kamworor, who has a personal best of 58.54 minutes, tops the men’s list that also includes world cross silver medallist Bedan Karoki (59:14), New York Marathon champion Stanley Biwott (58:56), Edwin Kiptoo (59:26) and former Africa 5000m silver medallist Jonathan Maiyo (59:02).

In the women’s team, Kiplagat who has a world record time of 1:05.09, will be joined by former World Half Marathon champion Mary Keitany (1:05:50), defending champion Gladys Cherono 1:06:07, RAK Half Marathon champion Cynthia Limo (1:06:04) and Mercy Wacera (1:06:29).

Kamworor will not only be seeking to defend his title alongside Cherono in the women’s category but will also be chasing the world record of 58:23, currently held by Zersenay Tadese.

INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS

On the World Indoor front, newly crowned IAAF World Indoor series 3,000m champion Augustine Choge leads the Kenya team to the IAAF Indoor Championships set for March 17-20 in Portland, United States.

Choge, who received a wild card to the event will partner Commonwealth champion Caleb Mwangangi and former world 5,000m bronze medallist Isaiah Koech.

Olympic bronze medallist Timothy Kitum and Nicholas Kiplagat will parade in the 800m while Vincent Kibet and indoor regular and Bethwel Birgen will fly Kenya’s flag in 1,500m.

Upcoming star Margaret Nyairera will partner Viola Lagat in the women’s 800m race while Nancy Chepkwemoi and Betsy Saina have been selected to run in the 3000m.

These are two key events in the AK calendar and we need to support our runners as we await the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (Adak) to sort the doping giant that has ruled the airwaves since last year.

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