Chepkoech opts out of African Games steeplechase

Saturday August 17 2019

Steeplechasers, World record holder Beatrice Chepkoech and former World champion Hyvin Kiyeng, will not participate at the African Games in Morocco.

The Games taking part in Rabat and Casablanca started on Friday but athletics calendar runs from August 26 to 31 in Rabat.

The 800m athlete Emmanuel Korir has also shelved his plans to compete in 400m at the Africa Games and former national 400m champion Alphas Kishoyian has been recalled to take his place.

Kishoyian, who had been dropped from the team on Wednesday, will now team up with Joseph Poghisio and Raymond Bett.

Kenya is now remaining with one athlete in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase, Mercy Wanjiku and Athletics Kenya senior deputy president Paul Mutwii disclosed that they will make replacements this weekend.

Chepkoech and Kiyeng will take part in the Birmingham's leg of Diamond League due Sunday before the grand finale in Zurich on August 29 while Korir is headed for men’s 800m final in Zurich.


Also recalled to the team are national long jump champion Bethwel Lagat and national 100m champion Joan Cherono, who will now team up with Maureen Thomas and Eunice Kadogo in 200m.

Kishoyian, Lagat and Cherono had been dropped on Wednesday after Team Kenya management insisted on the quota of 69 athletes.

Athletics will be the last team to leave the country for the games where Team Kenya is taking part in 22 disciplines.

Meanwhile, three-time World Half marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor, World Under-20 10,000m champion Rhonex Kipruto and Stanley Waithaka are all in contention for the National Championships 10,000m title next week at Nyayo National Stadium.

The National Championships will start on Tuesday for three days.

Athletics Kenya will use the championships to select the men and women’s 10,000m teams for the World Championships due September 28 to October 6 in Doha, Qatar. The first three athletes across the finishing line will make the Doha event.

Whether Kamworor, who is the 2015 World 10,000m silver medallist, will honour the World Championships remains to be seen with the New York City Marathon coming on November 6 this year.

AK executive committee member, Barnaba Korir said those headed for the African Games in Rabat, Morocco, are free to try their luck before they depart.

Paul Tanui, who has won bronze in 10,000m at the last three World events, will take on Kamworor and youngsters Kipruto and Waithaka. Also in contention are Charles Muneria, Edwin Soi, Wilfred Kimitei and Peter Emase.

Tanui, Soi and Muneria are in men’s 10,000m team for the African Games.

“The reason why we have decided to hold the 10,000 metres trials early is because we want the athletes to recover in time for the World Championships,” said Korir.