NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya will have to do without 1,500m world and
Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon at the World Indoor
Championships next month.
The 23-year-old has
ruled herself out of the remainder of the season as she is on
maternity leave. This leaves Olympic Games bronze medalist
Margaret Wambui and Hellen Obiri, the world 5,000m champion, as
Kenya’s sole title contenders at this year’s World Indoor
Championships, which will be held in Birmingham City, England on
“Faith will not take
part in the trials for the Commonwealth Games or the World
Indoor Championships. She is not in active training as she is
expecting her first child,” Paul Mutwii, the Athletics Kenya
Vice President said on Thursday.
However, he believes
Kenya will still field a strong team in both competitions and
will be able to dominate.
He picked out the
1,500m race for men, saying Kenya is spoilt for choice with
world champion Elijah Manang’oi, silver medalist Timothy
Cheruiyot, James Magut as well as Bethwel Birgen all keen to
Kenya hopes for a
better showing in Birmingham despite stiff competition from USA,
Ethiopia, France and Jamaica.
Kenya collected only
two bronze medals in Eugene, Oregon in 2016. Margaret Wambui
came in third in the 800m and Augustine Choge came third in the
This year’s World
Indoor Championships in Birmingham will attract a total of 767
athletes - 429 men and 338 women - from 154 federations, making
the 17th edition of the IAAF’s second largest
competition one of the biggest ever.
IAAF will pay all
the winners in each race category a 20,000 USD (125 978 CNY)
Although there will
be a slight reduction in the numbers between the preliminary
entries and final participants, the championships are on track
to become the largest in more than two decades.
Only once before,
when athletes from 171 countries participated at the 2012
championships in Istanbul, have more member federations fielded
expected to be at the championships include world high jump
champion and 2017 world athlete of the year Mutaz Essa Barshim,
world 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri and Christian Coleman, the
world 100m silver medalist.