Focus will be in the 10,000m race when the one-day national trials for the World Athletics Championships is held on Saturday at Nyayo Stadium.
Kenya has won the World Championships men’s 10,000m title thrice since the inception of the biennial even in 1983.
Charles Kamathi was the last Kenyan to claim the title in 2001 after Moses Tanui (1991) and Paul Kipkoech (1987). The rest have been dominated by Ethiopian runners who have won nine titles in 13 editions.
Legendary Haile Gebrselassie and Kenenisa Bekele have won four times each with fellow countryman Ibrahim Jeilan prevailing in the last championship, 2011 Daegu.
Well, Bedan Karoki, who was the best placed Kenya at the 2012 London Olympics at fifth place, is among the favourites, boasting of the fastest Kenyan time this season of 27:05.50 from his fourth finish at the Prefontaine Classic in Oregon. It’s the seventh fastest time this season.
“I know it’s a strong field but I fear nobody,” said Karoki, who shifted his based from Japan to Nyahururu in June.
“I have trained well and I am focusing on just running my race not caring who is in the field. I want to make the team and the rest will follow.”
Best qualifying time
However, Emmanuel Bett goes into the race with the best qualifying time of 26:51.16 set last season, which apparently is his personal best attained is September in Brussels. In the mix is the 2007 World Cross Country junior silver medallist, Vincent Kiprop (26:51.68) who has the second fastest time this season of 27:17.30 after finishing ninth in Oregon.
Winner of the Kenyan London Olympic trials, Wilson Kiprop, the 2008 World Cross Country silver medallist, Leonard Komon and 2007 World 10,000m bronze medallist, Martin Mathathi, will be keen to resuscitate their carriers with places in the Moscow team.
Fastest man in marathon Geoffrey Mutai (2:03:02), who is also the 2012 Berlin Marathon champion, also hopes to snatch a place in the team after missing out in the Marathon selection alongside 2012 World Half Marathon bronze medallist, John Mwangagi and World junior 10,000m record holder, Josphat Bett (27:30.85).
The field has a blend of interesting youngsters, the likes of the 2013 World Cross Country junior silver medallist, Leonard Barsiton, the 2011 World Youth and Commonwealth 3,000m champion, William Sitonik, 2011 World cross junior silver medallist, Paul Tanui and 2010 World Junior 10,000m champion, Dennis Masai.
London Olympics flop
By virtue of winning the 2012 Diamond League Series, Isaiah “President” Kiplangat is keen to put behind the London Olympics flop. But first things first, he has to secure the place in the 5,000m team even though the 2012 Diamond League Series winners have been given wild cards.
Kenya has won seven editions out of the 13 but the last time was by Benjamin Limo in 2005. The most successful Kenyan in the event is Ismael Kirui who won the 1993 and 1995 championships.
Others to win are Yobes Ondeik (1991), Daniel Komen (1997), Richard Limo (2001) and Eliud Kipchoge (2003).