Athletics name Kemei team coach, marathon squad to be known

Monday January 8 2018

Athletics Kenya senior vice president Paul Mutwii. He has named Japheth Kemei the head coach of the country’s athletics team for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast. PHOTO | FILE |

Athletics Kenya senior vice president Paul Mutwii. He has named Japheth Kemei the head coach of the country’s athletics team for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast. PHOTO | FILE |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By AYUMBA AYODI
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Japheth Kemei was on Monday named head coach for Kenya’s athletics team for Gold Coast Commonwealth Games due on April 4 to 15 in Australia.

Kemei is the 2016 SOYA Coach of the Year.

At the same time, Athletics Kenya will name marathon teams for the Commonwealth Games and World Half Marathon Tuesday after a meeting with coaches at Riadha House.

Kenya will defend both the individual and team titles during the World Half Marathon on March 24 in Valencia, Spain.

AK senior vice president Paul Mutwii, who is in charge of competitions, also announced Joseph Ochieng, the AK Nyanza North chairman, as team manager for the Commonwealth Games.

Mutwii disclosed that the other officials to handle the team for the “Club” Games will be named on Tuesday alongside those who will handle the team for the World Half Marathon.

Athletics has been allocated 57 slots for competitors and nine for officials in Team Kenya for the Gold Coast Games.

Kenya won 23 medals at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games - 10 gold, 10 silver and three bronze to top the athletics medal standings.

Mutwii said they will pick a team of six marathoners, three men and similar number of women for the Commonwealth Games.

“Competition for places in both teams for Gold Coast and Valencia is stiff  but we want to settle for the best,” said Mutwii.

He added: “We want to retain both titles in Valencia as well as recapture men’s marathon title in Gold Coast.”

Kenya’s Stephen Chemlany settled for silver in men’s marathon, losing to Australian Michael Shelley while Flomena Cheyech and Caroline Kilel staged a 1-2 finish in the women’s race at the 2014 Glasgow Games.

However, the trials proper for the Commonwealth Games will be held on March 8 and 10 in Nairobi.

Kenya will be represented by 10 marathoners in Valencia; five men and five women.

Dubbed the king of all surfaces, Geoffrey Kamworor has already expressed his desire to go for his third consecutive title, having won in 2014 Copenhagen and 2016 Cardiff.

LOCKED OUT

Japan-based Bedan Karoki completed Kenya’s 1-2 feat in Cardiff locking out Briton Mohammed Farah, who settled for bronze.

Peres Jepchirchir, who won the women’s race in Cardiff, is unlikely to defend her title since she is currently on maternity leave. Jepchirchir led a Kenyan sweep of the podium places with Cynthia Jerotich and Mary Wacera winning for silver and bronze respectively.

Favourite to lead Kenya’s assault in the women’s race is the world half marathon record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei.

Kenya will take a team of 132 sportsmen and women to the Commonwealth Games and will be represented in 15 disciplines.

This will be a reduced team compared to the 2014 Glasgow edition where the country was represented by 195 athletes.

Athletics Kenya Head of Youth Development Barnabas Korir is the country’s Chef de Mission.