Kitwara and Ngatuny spiked out of Berlin

Tuesday July 14 2009

Sammy Kitwara leads the pack during the inter-provincial Police championships 10,000m at Moi international sports centre Kasarani at a past event where he won. PHOTO/MOHAMMED AMIN

Sammy Kitwara leads the pack during the inter-provincial Police championships 10,000m at Moi international sports centre Kasarani at a past event where he won. PHOTO/MOHAMMED AMIN 

By CHRIS MUSUMBA

Athletics Kenya officials are on Wednesday expected to name Olympic bronze medallist Micah Kogo and Moses Masai in Kenya’s 10,000 metres team to the World Championships.

The duo will replace national champion Sammy Kitwara and Gideon Ngatuny, who finished second at last month’s national athletics championships.

At the same time, Lineth Chepkurui, fourth at the World Cross Country Championship in Jordan in March, may not partner with Linet Masai in the women’s race despite having clocked the qualifying time of 31 minutes and 45 seconds for the championship that will be held in Berlin from August 15 to 23.

Athletics Kenya chairman Isaiah Kiplagat confirmed that Japan-based Ngatuny and Kitwara went against the federation’s directives after the trials last month and competed in races abroad without seeking AK’s clearance.

Chepkurui might, however, have failed to impress the coaches owing to the huge gap in form between her and Linet Masai.

“We need to be serious and if we drop you I do not expect any complaints,” said Kiplagat.

Ngatuny won a half marathon race in Saparro in Japan while Kitwara also triumphed in Atlanta, USA, last month in a 10km road race.

AK’s national executive was locked in a meeting at the secretariat where they were expected to rubber-stamp the technical bench’s decision to axe the two. The federation said in a statement yesterday it will deliver its verdict on the two athletes on Wednesday.

“Athletics Kenya will officially announce the verdict of the 10,000m race for both men and women (Wednesday),” said Peter Angwenyi, the AK public relations officer.

Broke seven-year record
Chepkurui, who clinched the second 10,000m automatic slot in the national trials, clocked 31:31.92 to finish third at the British Athletics Championships in Birmingham, England, on Saturday, within the 31:45.00 required by IAAF for female athletes.

Kogo, 23, debuted on the international circuit in 2005. He failed to finish the race during the trials, having suffered a stitch, but he broke Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie’s seven-year 10km record in Parelloop, the Netherlands, in March by a second to 27:01.

Moses Masai was unlucky not to be named in the initial squad, having finished fourth behind Bernard Kipyego.

The Eldoret-based athlete clocked 27:44.88 behind Kitwara (27.44.46), Ngatuny (27:44.77) and Kipyego (27:44.80) and has to prove his mettle if selected in the race which he finished fourth in the Beijing Olympics behind Kogo last year owing to an ankle injury, clocking 27:04.11.

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