The 2003 World 5,000 metres champion, Eliud Kipchoge, is humbled by his inclusion in Kenya’s World Half Marathon (WHM) team.
Kipchoge, 27, replaced Paris Marathon champion Stanley Biwott in the team that leaves next Wednesday for the championship in Kavarna, Bulgaria.
The 2007 World 5,000m bronze medallist also claimed 5,000m and 10,000m silvers at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Athletics Kenya (AK) president Isaiah Kiplagat also made changes in the women’s team. He replaced Lucy Kabuu, second in her marathon debut in Dubai in January, with another veteran long distance track runner, Priscah Jepleting, who won the 5,000m bronze at the 2007 Worlds in Osaka.
Kiplagat spoke at the launch of the fourth Ndalat Gaa Kids Cross Country at Riadha House, Nairobi, where Safaricom unveiled Sh1 million for the October 13 event.
The athlete, who won bronze at the 2004 Athens Olympics before securing silver at the 2008 Games in Beijing, said he would repay the gesture by a podium finish.
“I am happy to be included in the team and now the onus is on me to prove my mettle,” said Kipchoge, who marked his half marathon debut on September 3 in Lille, France, with a personal best 59 minutes and 25 seconds in third place behind Ezekiel Chebii, who won in a course record 59:05, and Bernard Koech (59:10).
On Tuesday, he disclosed that he would concentrate on half marathon for a year and then shift his focus to full marathon.
Atone for London defeat
“I just want to try the 21km as I look for other opportunities; marathon is out of the equation for now,” said Kipchoge, who will team up with Stephen Kosgei Kibet, John Mwangangi, Pius Maiyo and Philemom Limo.
The women’s team also has Peninah Arusei, the 2010 WHM bronze winner in Nanning, China, 2009 Amsterdam Marathon champion Lydia Cheromei, Pasalia Chepkorir and Pauline Njeri.
Kenya hopes to atone for the Olympic marathon title loss in London by retaining both the individuals and team titles.