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Consistent Kipsiele asks AK for South Korea ticket

Wednesday July 20 2011

By CHRIS MUSUMBA [email protected]

Paul Kipsiele, the former Olympic 3,000 metres steeplechase bronze medallist, has petitioned Athletics Kenya to look at his consistency and international performance and award him the wildcard in the water-and-hurdle event for the World Championship in Daegu next month.

Kipsiele, seventh at the national trials, wants AK to field him, Abraham Chirchir and any other two athletes in a race of their choice abroad and award the winner with the fourth slot in the team.

“I have been in athletics for 11 years. I have never finished in the top two at the national trails, yet AK has always picked me and many other athletes with similar problems to compete in international championship,” he said.

Request is warranted

“I was eleventh in Athens Olympics and sixth in Helsinki before returning seventh in Berlin. Let them use the criteria we used in 2004 when Abraham Cherono, Michael Kipyego and I were asked to run in Rome Golden League and I won the ticket to run at the Olympics.”

Kipsiele’s request is warranted. He is the most consistent steeplechase runner and the second Kenyan to run under the eight-minute mark.

The other is World champion Ezekiel Kemboi (7 minutes 58.85 seconds). Kipsiele has run under the eight-minute mark seven times, his personal best time being 7:56.37.

Altitude problem

“I have a problem with running at altitude and AK knows this. If at all I’m out of form, then how come I have been at the top of the world for the past 11 years?” Kipsiele posed.

This season, Kipsiele has won in Oslo and Ostrava and finished second in Shanghai and Eugene, scoring faster time under eight minutes and three seconds.

So when AK dropped Nixon Chepseba from the Daegu team and awarded former World Indoor championship silver medallist Daniel Kipchirchir Komen the spot for consistency, Kipsiele should have been considered.