East Africa tipped to shine at world championshipsfrom MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – ATHLETES from East Africa are bracing for the forthcoming International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to be hosted in Beijing, China next month.
The traditional long distance running nations, particularly Ethiopia and Kenya, are tipped to break records.
The Beijing IAAF kicks off on August 22 and ends on the 30th.
It will consist of 3 000 metres, 5000m, 10 000m as well as the 21-kilometre marathon.
Leading the Ethiopian squad will be Genzebe Dibaba, who smashed top accolades in both middle and long-distance running circles.
Her three-time Olympic champion sister, Tirunesh Dibaba, will be absent due to personal reasons.
Another Ethiopian female not to be outdone is Erba Tiki Gelana.
Mohammed Aman and Tariku Bekele are heavily tipped to win the 3 000m and 5 000m men’s races.
The latter is the younger brother of veteran marathon world champion Kenenisa Bekele, who specialises in 3 000m and 5 000m events.
Uganda’s Stephen Kiprotich, who is now the most popular athlete in that country after ending its 40-year wait in winning long distance championships, is set to offer stiff competition to favourites Kenyans and Ethiopians.
In 2014, Kiprotich stunned Kenyans Abel Kirui and Wilson Kipsang to win gold medal in the Landon Marathon’s Olympic Games.
While Kenya on Friday made notable selections, the country is still hunting for the best middle and long distance athletes ahead of Beijing.
Other notable Kenyan female athletes comprise Jacqueline Chepng’eno, 1 500 double world champion Vivian Cheruiyot and Irene Chepkemoi of East Africa Military Games champion.
In the men’s category, Kenya is expected to look up to two-time world 1 500m champion Asbel Kiprop, Olympic 800m bronze medalist Timothy Kitum, Olympian Antony Chemut and Nicholas Kiplagat.
Not to be overlooked is veteran 400m runner, Elijah Manangoi, former world junior sensation, Vincent Leting and the world cross-country champion Geoffrey Kamworor Kipsang as well as world 5 000m bronze medallist Isaiah Koech.
– CAJ News
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