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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenyans Jepkosgei, champ Kamworor named
in Kenya team to World Half Marathon

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- World half-marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor and women’s record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei will lead Kenya’s ten-member team to the World Half Marathon in Valencia, Spain on March 24.

Kenya faces a daunting task in its quest to dominate the championships for the second time in a row after it swept all the team and individual medals at the last competition in Cardiff, Wales in 2016.

Kamworor run the race of his life to retain the men’s title while Peres Jepchirchir won the women’s edition in a 1-2-3 finish for the East African country with Cynthia Limo and Marcy Wacera following in pursuit respectively.

But as the focus turns on Valencia in two months’ time, Kenya has named a very strong side that has the fastest woman in half marathon and record holder Jepkosgei, who will be returning to the city that she managed to break her own record last October.

“I was expecting the call-up. My manager told me to be ready and I have done well in training and will not relent. The challenge ahead is enormous and there is no resting on the laurels,” said Jepkosgei on Tuesday.

To accomplish her task, Jepkosgei will have to team up with compatriots Ruth Chepngetich who won the Istanbul Half Marathon last year with others including Pauline Kaveke, Mary Wachira, and Fancy Chemutai.

Peris Jepchirchir, who won in Cardiff in 2016, joined another long list of Kenyan women who have excelled in this event. The list includes legendary Tegla Loroupe, marathon icon Mary Keitany, Florence Kiplagat and Gladys Cherono.

In the men’s side, defending champion Kamworor has set aside all other engagements to make sure he retains his title. Kamworor had to give up his slot in the Kenya Commonwealth Games team to focus on this title defence.

Bedan Karoki who finished as the runner-up in the same competition also makes the cut. Others are Joram Okombo, Barselius Kipyego and Leonard Barsoton who makes his debut for Kenya in the road races.

           

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