Former world champion Edna Kiplagat and London Marathon title holder Daniel Wanjiru say they are happy with their selection to Kenya’s team to the IAAF World Championships in London with Kiplagat gleefully targeting a hat-trick of global victories.
The two are among Kenya’s marathon team selected for the 4 to 13 championships in London. Kiplagat, who is fresh from winning last month’s Boston Marathon, a feat that sealed her place in the team, said she is ready to complete a historic hat-trick at the World Championships after previous wins in 2011 Daegu (South Korea) and 2013 in Moscow (Russia).
A delighted Wanjiru, who won the London Marathon on April 23 in his first appearance, said he will now dedicate his energies and training towards the World Championships marathon.
However, the new women’s world marathon record holder Mary Keitany and Chicago Marathon champion Florence Kiplagat, who were named alongside Edna in the women’s team, were still undecided even as the deadline for confirmation elapsed on Monday.
Meanwhile, Tokyo Marathon champion Wilson Kipsang, who was equally happy for getting another chance in the team, said he will speak to his manager Gerard van de Veen of the Netherlands before deciding his stand on Tuesday.
It’s left to be known whether Kipsang, who has personal best two hours, three minutes and 13 seconds, will shelve his ambitions of trying to reclaim the world marathon record at Berlin Marathon in September for the London World Championships.
Dennis Kimetto holds the legal world record with a time of 2:02:57 set in 2014 Berlin when he broke Kipsang’s time of 2:03:23.
While Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge remained quiet about the selection, his coach Patrick Sang said it’s up to Kipchoge to decide his own destiny, having ran the fastest time in marathon history of 2:00:25 during the Nike “Breaking2” project in Monza, Italy, 11 days ago.
The time was, however, not recognised as a world record as the race conditions did not meet requirements of the International Association of Athletics federations (IAAF). Kipchoge, who has legal personal best 2:03:05, also wanted to take a short at the world record in Berlin.
The reigning Boston Marathon champion Geoffrey Kirui and the 2016 Mumbai Marathon champion Gedion Kipketer, who finished second in Tokyo Marathon, have been picked as reserves in the men’s team.
Purity Rionoripo and Agnes Barsosio, who claimed a 1-2 finish at the Paris Marathon in April 9, are on standby in women’s team.
Edna failed to defend her title for the second time at 2015 championships in Beijing where she finished fifth.