World 3,000m steeplechase champion Ezekiel Kemboi and Alfred Kirwa Yego, the former World 800m champion, have been dropped from Africa’s team that will travel to Split City, Croatia, next month for the Athletics World Cup.
Policeman Kemboi and Kirwa, also the 2009 World and 2008 Olympic bronze medallist in the 800m, both clinched silver at the African Championships but will miss the chance to run for the continent.
The Dakar-based Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) gave Kenya only 12 slots on Monday.
While Kemboi and Kirwa shift focus, Priscilla Isiaho, the shot put silver medallist at the recent Africa Championships in Nairobi, got a rare nod from the CAA and will be flying to Croatia to seek world glory.
AK ‘did not have a hand’
Athletics Kenya secretary general David Okeyo said on Tuesday the team selection was done in Dakar and that there was very little they could do to accommodate more athletes.
“It must be known that AK did not have a hand in selecting the team. It was done by the CAA and we only got communication from them Tuesday morning,” said Okeyo.
He has since called on the athletes selected to confirm their participation and avail their travelling documents to AK by Thursday.
“Those who will fail to confirm and send in their passport details to us will forfeit their positions. They should also tell us whether they intend to travel from Nairobi, or respective training camps in Africa and Europe,” said Okeyo.
The team will be coached by middle and long distance coach Daniel Kitoo. The IAAF reformatted World Cup in Athletics and renamed it the Continental Cup.
There will be just four continental teams: Americas, Africa, Asia/Pacific (Asia and Oceania), and Europe.
Individual winners will take home a bonus of $30,000 (Sh2.4 million) with the first runners-up getting $15,000 (Sh1.2 million), while the second runners-up will pocket $10,000 (Sh800,000).
The prizes tickle down to the eighth finisher who gets $1,000 (Sh80,000).