Athletics Kenya has named a tentative squad of six men and seven women to prepare for the 2014 Commonwealth Games marathon races.
According to AK public relations officer Evans Bosire, the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games 10,000m and 5,000m silver medallist Eliud Kipchoge, who has only run two marathons - Hamburg and Berlin - posting impressive times, is in the team.
Double world champion Ednah Kiplagat and new World Half Marathon record holder Florence Kiplagat will lead the women’s charge ion a team that is dotted with experience.
Kenya will be gunning to retain both titles during the “Club” Games that will be held July 23 to August 3 in Glasgow, Scotland. John Kelai won the men’s race in 2:14:35 as counterpart Amos Tirop Matui settled for bronze on 2:15:58. Irene Jerotich led a 1-2 podium finish for Kenya in the women’s race winning in 2:34:32 ahead of Irene Mogake who clocked 2:34:43.
“We have informed the athletes about their selection and they have responded well saying they are up to the task,” said Bosire.
Kenya’s representative at 2013 Moscow World Championships, Bernard Koech, season long distance runner Sammy Kitwara and three times Amsterdam Marathon champion Wilson Kwambai Chebet are in the team.
Also making the men’s team are the 2011 Daegu World Championships silver medallist Vincent Kipruto, who is also the 2013 Frankfurt Marathon champion and Africa 5,000m gold medallist Mark Kosgei Kiptoo, who made his marathon debut in Frankfurt last year.
Kipchoge, 29, made his marathon debut ion April last year, winning in Hamburg title with a course record run of 2:05:30 hours. He would compete in the Berlin Marathon in September, hoping to improve his 2:05:30 personal best from the Hamburg Marathon.
He settled second in 2:04:05, the fifth fastest time in history, but after pushing Wilson Kipsang to a new world record time of 2:03:23.
Kipruto, 26, who is the 2008 Paris Marathon champion, claimed third place finishes at the 2008 Reims, 2008 Chicago and 2010 Rotterdam but it’s at the later race that he posted his personal best 2:05:13.
Koech debuted at the 2013 Dubai Marathon where he finished fifth in a personal best of 2:04:53. He dropped after the 30km mark at the 2013 Worlds in Moscow in August before finishing third in Amsterdam two months later.
Kwambai managed podium finishes at the Granollers Half Marathon, Rotterdam Half Marathon and Delhi Half Marathon in 2008. He won his maiden marathon at 2011 in Rotterdam, in the year's best time of 2:05:27, six seconds ahead of his village mate Kipruto. He recorded a second consecutive win and sub -2:06 run at the 2011 Amsterdam Marathon.
He won the 2011 Amsterdam Marathon with a time of 2:05:41, a new course record but won the 2012 Amsterdam Marathon, improving his own record to 2:05:36.
Besides Championships specialist Ednah Kiplagat, who retained her World title in Moscow last year, and Florence Kiplagat, who clocked a new World Half Marathon record of 1:05:12 in Barcelona a fortnight ago, 2011 and 2012 Boston Marathon champion Sharon Cherop and 2013 Rotterdam Marathon winner Jemimah Sumgong are also in the team.
Eliud Kipchoge, Bernard Koech, Sammy Kitwara, Wilson Kwambai Chebet, Vincent Kipruto and Mark Kosgei Kiptoo.
Jemimah Jelagat Sumgong, Florence Jebet Kiplagat, Ednah Kiplagat, Sharon Cherop, Caroline Cheptanui Kilel, Flomena Chepchirchir and Margaret Agai.