Team Kenya was confident of good results as it left for Copenhagen, Denmark Wednesday night ahead of Saturday’s World Half Marathon Championships.
Lucy Kabuu, who will spearhead women’s assault, has promised to atone for her poor show at the 2013 World Championships with good a show.
The 2010 World Half Marathon champion Wilson Kiprop is also keen to recapture the title and make amends to his poor show in 10,000m at the 2012 London Olympics.
“I have been refining on my speed after finishing third at Tokyo Marathon a fortnight ago. I had to adjust to half marathon,” said Kabuu, who clocked 2:24:16 in Tokyo even though she boast of the ninth all-time best 2:19:34.
EYES ON GOLD
Kabuu, who finished 24th at the 2013 Worlds, won the 2013 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon with a new personal best of 66:09, just 19 seconds off Keitany’s previous world record. “It’s been long since I won a medal for Kenya and this is his opportunity,” said Kabuu.
Kabuu’s last victory was at the 2006 Commonwealth Games when she won the 10,000m gold. Kenya is seeking its sixth women’s title after Tegla Lorupe’s triumph in 1997, 1998 and 1999 before Mary Keitany won in 2009 with a world record time of 66:36. Florence Kiplagat, who recently lowered Keitany’s record to 65:12 in Barcelona, took it in 2010.
The 2013 World Championships 10,000m silver medallist Gladys Cherono, who set a personal best of 1:06:48 in winning at Prague last year and Mary Wacera are also in the team. Wacera won World 10k in Puerto Rico last week in 32:06. Others are Sally Chepyego Mercy Jerotich Kibarus.
The men’s team hopes to capture the individual title they lost to Eritrea’s Zersenay Tadese in Karvana. Kiprop who beat Tedese for the 2010 title will lead Kenyan charge. “Previous winners will be the target but I know what to do,” said Kiprop.
Team Kenya; Women: Mary Wacera, Sally Chepyego Kaptich, Lucy Kabuu, Gladys Cherono, Mary Kibarus. Men: Robert Kwemoi Chemosin, Simon Cheprot, Kenneth Kiprop Kipkemoi, Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor, Wilson Kiprop, Cyprian Kimurgor Kotut. Officials: Ochieng Joseph (Team Leader), Salat Abdullahi (Team Manager), Edith Masai (coach).