The 2015 World 10,000 metres silver medallist Geoffrey Kamworor has tipped youngsters Rhonex Kipruto and Rogers Kwemoi to do well in 10,000m at the World Championships planned for Doha from September 28 to October 6.
Kamworor, the three-time World Half Marathon champion, also said that the experience of long distance runner Alex Oloitiptip, who also made the team Wednesday during the National Championships which also doubled up as World Championships trials, will also count.
“I believe these youngsters will deliver victory in Doha. I wish them the best of luck. Rhonex and Kwemoi have shown great potential and Oloitiptip’s experience should also count for something in the end,” said Kamworor. “I will be there for advice and any assistance they will require.”
The Kenya Police runner was speaking at the Nyayo National Stadium moments after showing the trio a clear pair of heels to win the national 10,000m title. He stuck with his earlier decision to skip the World Championships.
That happened as World 10,000m bronze medallist Agnes Jebet, World 5,000m Hellen Obiri and little-known Japan-based Rosemary Wanjiru clinched women’s 10,000m slots for the World Championships.
Kamworor, 26, stayed behind for the better part of the race before hitting the front with 300m to go to win in 27 minutes and 24.76 seconds.
The Doha battle is now left for Kipruto, the World Under-20 10,000m champion and Kwemoi, who won World Under-20 10,000m title in 2016. Kipruto, 19, who led for the better part of the race and Kwemoi, 22, were unable to upstage experienced Kamworor. They came second and third in 27:26.34 and 27:26.92 respectively.
It will be the first time Oloitiptip is representing Kenya at the highest level.
Kamworor was categorical that he was using the race to prepare for the New York City Marathon slated for November 3 in the American City.
Kipruto (Police) and Kwemoi said they are up to the task ahead on Doha, and are ready to take on any opposition in the race. “Though young, I feel ready to conquer the world and hand Kenya the title the country has missed since 2001 in Edmonton,” said Kipruto.
Kipruto said he is out to make history just like Olympics marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge, who is the youngest to have won the World 5,000m title in 2003 aged 19. "We just need to have self-belief and embrace teamwork," said Kipruto.
In the women’s race, the last 200m was a battle of the two World Cross Country champions as Jebet edged out Obiri in a sprint finish to win in 31:25.00. Effectively, Jebet also won the National 10,000m title.
Obiri, who is the Commonwealth 5,000m champion, wilted with 30 metres to go to finish second in personal best 31:25.38. Wanjiru timed 31:26.22 for third.
"Clocking 31:25 at home is an amazing feat. It's actually a surprise victory for me considering the strong field that had Obiri, who has an explosive kick," said Jebet. "I have faced Obiri many times and she has emerged the winner. It feels good to beat her this time round."
Jebet is keen on upgrading her bronze medal from London in 2017 to gold in Doha.
"I now have enough experience on track and I hope to uphold my form and good training to Doha," said Jebet. Jebet said they can easily silence Ethiopia's challenge with good planning. "Personally, I need to work on my kick in the last 200m," said Jebet.
Obiri said she hopes to double in 10,000m and 5,000m. "I want to go and defend my 5,000m title but also weigh if I will go for 10,000m title too," said Obiri.
In other races, Fancy Cherono (Nairobi) won the women’s 3,000m steeplechase title in 9:42.05, beating Mercy Wanjiru (KDF) in 9:43.96 and Caroline Biwott (Prisons) 9:56.78.
World Under-18 800m champion Jackline Wambui eased through to women’s 800m final after winning her semi-final race in 2:02.69, beating Emily Cherotich in 2:03.08.
The 2013 World 800m champion Eunice Sum won her semi-final in 2:03.16, edging out Sylvia Chesebe in 2:04.17.