NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Newly appointed Kenya team coach Japheth Kemei
said the country must change its focus and preparations if they
are to continue to dominate in middle and long distances races.
Kemei has his work cut out as he takes over Julius Kirwa, who
led Kenya to successful performances in World Championships in
London and Beijing.
"It is a role that requires cooperation and support. I have
good rapport with the athletes and the management must support
us," he said on Tuesday.
Kemei’s first task will be to lead Kenya team to the
Commonwealth Games, which will be held in Gold Coast, Australia
from April 4-15.
Athletics Kenya senior vice president Paul Mutwii said Kenya
must improve its performance in the club games, which are only
open to athletes from former British colonies.
Kenya won 23 medals at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games in
2014 - 10 gold, 10 silver and three bronze - to top the
athletics medal standings.
Now Kemei must improve on this tally with a squad of 57
Kemei will have top stars like David Rudisha, the Olympic
800m champion, javelin star Julius Yego, World 1,500m champion
Elijah Manangoi in Gold Coast.
The marathon teams for the Commonwealth Games will be
confirmed on Tuesday along with Kenya’s teams for the World Half
Marathon Championships in Valencia in March.
"There are still a few details we are waiting for on some
athletes," said Mutwii. "We will name the final team to
Commonwealth Games in a week’s time."
Kenya’s Ondoro leads in title defense at the Houston Marathon
NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s Dominic Ondoro will put his
marathon title up for grabs when he lines up on the streets of
Houston on Jan 14.
Ondoro has savored a successful bid after two losses and is
under pressure to prove his fitness against a strong challenge
from Ethiopian runners.
"I love running in Houston and have done all that is required
"But running and winning are not the same and when we line up
on Jan. 14.
"Past form will count for nothing, but the day’ s form will
be what matters and the weather," he said on Tuesday.
Last year, against all odds, Ondoro emerged victorious having
finished in fourth and fifth place in 2017 and 2016.
Running in a damp and foggy weather the Kenyan posted a fast
time of 2:12:05 to become the first Kenyan to prevail since
David Cheruiyot won Houston for a third time in 2008.
With the allure of making Kenya team for the Commonwealth
Games still glowing, Ondoro must scheme how best to beat
Ethiopians Bazu Worku (2:05:25) and Yitayal Atnafu (2:07:21).
In the women’s race, New York Marathon third-placer Mamitu
Daska stands out as the fastest in a pack of elite runners with
a time of 2:21:59, which she claimed in winning in Houston back
The Ethiopian will face a strong challenge from Ethiopian
teammates Abebech Afework (2:23:33), Biruktayit Degefa (2:23:51)
and Belaynesh Oljira (2:24:21).