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Kenyan Flomena Cheyeng returns to London eyeing marathon gold
By John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Three years ago, Flomena Cheyech arrived in London, eyeing her first medal at the Commonwealth Games in Edenborough, Scotland.

However, her cruise to success has not been as fast as she would have liked and as she prepares to return to Britain for the World Youth Championships in London, Cheyech is convinced this will turn around her career for the better.

"The hardest challenge is to make the Kenya team.

"Kenya has so many elite runners that running under two hours and 20 minutes is not news to many.

"To represent my country at the next month in the World Championships is the best present I have got.

"Running with my experienced teammates will really motivate me to do well," she said.

Ironically, Cheyech 35, has represented Kenya in three past occasions, all in Britain.

She made her debut as a teenager in 1999 at the Belfast (Ireland) World Cross Country and returned to England ten years later for the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in 2009 in Birmingham.

On both occasions she failed to win a medal. In 2014, she won gold on third attempt at the Commonwealth Games.

Now she hopes to secure a bigger prize when she contested the marathon distance at the London World Championships.

Competing in London will offer Cheyech an opportunity to challenge for the title alongside experienced 2016 Tokyo Marathon winner Helah Kiprop and reigning Boston Marathon champion Edna Kiplagat.

"They will always guide me and it will be a team work effort.

"But finally it will be about your individual strength and I hope to be champion," she added.

"We are sharpening our skills as we look forward to a good competition next month."

Kiplagat has twice won the World championships.

The 37-year-old, who won the marathon at the 2011 and 2013 IAAF World Championships, will be competing at her fourth World Championships.

In April, she won the Boston Marathon.

Helah Kiprop, who won the 2016 Tokyo marathon, is training in Kaptagat, near Eldoret town and is focused on winning Kenya the medal.

"I hope we will get a clean sweep," she said.

"The withdrawal of Florence Kiplagat and Mary Keitany does not make our team any weaker.

"The other two runners we have are as serious and we hope to win in London."


Kenya responds to Fancy Bears hackers doping claims

By Kimathi Kamau NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Athletics Kenya (AK) on Thursday urged some of the country’s top runners adversely mentioned in documents released by hacking group Fancy Bears to continue training for the London 2017 IAAF World Championships as they seek answers.

The country was plunged into a fresh doping crisis when leaked emails from the world governing body the IAAF claimed a number of the country’s most famous athletes had ‘suspicious’ blood passports or were ‘likely doping’.

Besides Kenya, the hackers released a fresh trove of documents claiming famous names from Britain, United States, Ukraine and Netherlands also raised suspicions in the on-going IAAF crackdown on doping.

"We are aware of the hacked documents and some names of Kenyan and athletes from other countries they contain.

"We contacted the IAAF to here what this is all about and we will wait for their response," AK President, Jack Tuwei said in a statement on Thursday evening.

"We encourage all our athletes selected for the London 2017 World Championships to continue training to make their nation proud and not to be distracted by the reports," he added.

The development casts fresh doubts over the Kenya’s athletes who topped the overall charts at the last edition of the IAAF Worlds in Beijing two years ago before winning six gold medals at the Rio 2016 Olympics last year.

Kenya is one of the six nations still in the IAAF doping watch-list and earlier this week, the federation urged strict ‘whereabouts’ regulations in a bid to send a clean squad to London.

Last year, the country flirted with an international ban from the sport over the doping menace that has seen over 40 Kenyan runners banned from the sport for substance abuse since 2012.

Kenya in campaign to root out doping at London world championships

By John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya will do a random and thorough test on all athletes who are eligible to compete at the London World championships before they are allowed to travel to England.

Athletics Kenya vice President Paul Mutwii said they are serious to combat use of drugs in sports and will vet all the athletes to make sure they have met the required IAAF standards.

"As a country, we are committed to ensure that we meet all the IAAF requirements and also ensure that our athletes run clean," said Mutwii.

Kenya has struggled to keep the drugs out of its elite athletes and will be under scrutiny as the championships runs from August 4-13.

During the last Rio Olympic in 2016, marathon champion Jemima Sumgong returned positive in out of competition test and the Kenyan track and field officials are not ready for another round of embarrassment at the global stage.

"Kenya through Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) has made a lot of progress towards achieving all the requirements.

"Any athlete, who will fail to comply with the IAAF requirements within the stipulated time, will be replaced or the slot forfeited completely in areas where we have few qualified athletes.

"We cannot afford to send athletes who have not met the requirements," said Mutwii.

Kenya team members have been further urged to avail themselves whenever they are asked to for dope test.

"All approvals must be sought from AK for any athlete who wishes to participate in any race outside Kenya. This will enable us to monitor the progress of our athletes," said Mutwii.



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