Eldoret, KENYA:The two days Athletics Kenya Olympics trials culminated on Friday in Eldoret at the famous Kipchego Keino stadium and as was expected elite athlete booked their Brazil tickets for the Rio Olympic Games.
Two-time World 10,000m bronze medalist Paul Tanui crossed the line on 27:46.15, fending off competition from Africa Country bronze medalist Charles Yosei who too qualified after clocking 27:52.07.
The race however was marred with bizarre as World 10,000 silver medalist Geoffrey Kamworor, who is also the World Half Marathon and World Cross Country champion step aside with three laps remaining citing stomach pain.
Also forced to withdraw from the race was World Cross Country and World Half Marathon silver medalist Bedan Karoki who could not manage with 16 laps to go due to hamstring injury.
Despite the setback Kamworor through wild card will join Paul Tanui and Charles Yosei to represent the country where they are expected to dislodge defending champions Briton Mo Farah.
Elsewhere, three-time World 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop and World 1,500m silver medallist Faith Chepng’etich confirmed their status by winning in the men and women’s 1,500m respectively.
Kiprop, the 2008 Beijing Olympics gold medallist, crossed the line on 3:38.21 ahead of Elijah Manangoi who clocked 3:38.48 to get the second automatic qualifying place.
Former World Junior 1,500m champion Ronald Kwemoi settled third in 3:38.80 but will have to wait to see if he’ll get the third qualifying slot when the team is named.
Meanwhile Chepng’etich, who is the Commonwealth 1,500m champion, booked her second Olympics after he won in women’s race in 4:06.71, while Nancy Chepkwemoi managed 4:10.00 to claim the second automatic place with Viola Jeptoo finishing third in 4:11.93.
In women’s 10,000 race World champion Vivian Cheruiyot, who won silver in 5,000m at the 2012 London Olympics, clocked 15:01.60 to edged out the 2013 World 1,500m bronze medalist Hellen Obiri to second place in 15:03.45.
The 2013 World 5,000m silver medalist Mercy Cherono finished third in 15:25.51 to seal the last Olympic qualifying slot.
Elsewhere Africa 400m hurdles silver medalist Maureen Jelagat will be participating in her second Olympics after clocking 57.35, ahead of Jane Chege who managed 59.75.
The results only Jelagat will be representing the country in that race, having attained the Olympics qualifying time of 56.00 during the Africa Championships held in Durban, South Africa last weekend.
Team Kenya for Olympics
Calvin Nkanata, Mike Mokamba (200m), Nicholas Bett, Boniface Mucheru, Aron Koech (400m H), Alphas Kishoiyan, Boniface Mweresa, Alex Sampao, Raymond Kibet (400m), Alfred Kipketer, Ferguson Rotich, David Rudisha (800m), Asbel Kiprop, Elijah Manag’oi, Ronald Kwemoi (1500m), Brimin Kipruto, Conseslus Kipruto, Ezekiel Kemboi (3000m steeplechase), Caleb Mwangangi, Isaiah Kiplagat (5000m), Paul Tanui, Charles Yosei, Bedan Karoki ,Geoffrey Kamworor (10,000m), Eliud Kipchoge, Wesley Korir, Stanley Biwott (Marathon), Samuel Gathimba, Simon Wachira (20Km Walk), Mathew Sawe (High Jump), Julius Yego (Javelin)
Maureen Jelagat (400m H), Margaret Nyairera, Eunice Sum, Winnie Chebet (800m), Faith Chepng’etich, Nancy Chepkwemoi, Viola Lagat (1500m), Hyvin Kiyeng, Beatrice Chepkoech, Lydia Rothich (3000m steeplechase), Maureen Jelagat, Magaret Nyairera (400m), Vivian Cheruiyot, Hellen Obiri, Mercy Cherono (5000m), Vivian Cheruiyot, Betsy Saina, Alice Aprot (10,000m), Helah Kiprop, Visline Jepkesho, Jemimah Sumgog (Marathon), Grace Wanjiru (20Km Walk).
A total of 52 athletes will represent the country at the 2016 August Rio Olympic Games.