KORIR: Our half marathon team by far the best - Daily Nation

Our half marathon team by far the best

Thursday January 18 2018

The winner of men's race Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor from Kenya waves national flag in IAAF World Half Marathon Championships 2014 in Copenhagen on March 29, 2014. AFP/PHOTO

The winner of men's race Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor from Kenya waves national flag in IAAF World Half Marathon Championships 2014 in Copenhagen on March 29, 2014. AFP/PHOTO  

By BARNABAS KORIR
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Looking at the Kenyan line up to the World Half Marathon in Valencia, Spain, in March, I can confidently say the pendulum is titling in our favour.

With defending champion, Geoffrey Kamworor, and runner up, Bedan Karoki, in our line-up, what else could we ask for?

The two will be in company of 2017 national cross country champion Leonard Barsoton, Barselius Kipyegon and Joram Okombo.

Kamworor will be targeting a third victory after reigning supreme in 2014 in Cardiff and in 2016 in Copenhagen.

Kamworor, the reigning world cross country champion, is currently enjoying top form having won the National Police Service cross country last weekend at Ngong racecourse.

He also clinched the New York City Marathon title in November last year, leaving no doubt about his preparations for the World Half Marathon Championships.

STAR-STUDDED

Karoki is equally prepared having finished third in London last April and fourth in Fukuoka in December.

Barsoton can also not be ruled out going by his past record.

The women’s line-up is equally star-studded with world half marathon record holder Joyceline Jepkosgei leading the way. Jepkosgei is almost a sure bet considering her current form on the road.

Last year, she posted mind boggling records, leaving everyone scratching his head.

She will run alongside Fancy Chemutai, Ruth Chepngetich, Pauline Kaveke and Mary Wacera, who are no pushovers when it comes to the road.
Jepkosgei was the talk of last year as she broke a number of records.

She also holds the 10-kilometre world record and has been yearning for the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships slot, and whatever her dream is everyone’s guess.

Having won a few races in Valencia, she will be starting at an advantage.

This is the same venue where she posted her current world half marathon record of one hour, four minutes and 51 seconds.

I can’t wait to look at the big screen for her time when her race is over.

For her, winning is a foregone conclusion and we will be waiting anxiously to look at the time.

The same can be said of Kamworor, who has won the last two editions.

Like Jepkosgei, he will be keen to do something extra-ordinary in his third attempt.

For Athletics Kenya, this is like the biggest event of the year besides the IAAF World Indoor Championships and the Commonwealth Games and the composition of the line up says it all.

10,000M FIASCO

But as Kamworor and Karoki head to the roads full time, it’s important we find solution for the men’s 10,000 metres on the track.

At the moment, we have only the Olympic silver medallist Paul Tanui, who could be headed for the roads.

We need to do something about the 25-lap race because with the exit of the unbeatable Briton Mo Farah, we have a chance to reclaim our place.

Korir, Athletics Kenya’s Nairobi branch chairman, is also head of Kenya’s team to the 2018 Commonwealth Games: [email protected]

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