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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Rudisha remains doubtful for Commonwealth Games

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Injured Olympic 800m champion David Rudisha is unlikely to compete at the Commonwealth Games.

The Kenyan, who holds the world record at 1:40.91, has just returned to training after shaking off a leg injury, which ruled him out of the London World Championships.

However, with the trials for the Kenyan team going to the Commonwealth Games fast approaching, he may not be in the best possible shape to secure a ticket to the Gold Coast.

“I believe a problem is nothing but an opportunity to prove yourself. The injury is healed and I am done with my morning training session. I work so hard and I never give up until a job is completed. I am full of confidence, hope and sunshine,” said Rudisha.

Kenya has announced it may miss several key personalities from its Commonwealth Games team, which comes earlier than its usual August date.

However, with no other major championships, athletes must decide if they must compete in Commonwealth Games or the IAAF Diamond League, which starts in May. Then there is also the Africa Championships which kicks off in August.

Some of the defending champions who are not keen to compete in Australia include 5,000m champion Mercy Cherono, who is expecting her first child as well as world champion Faith Chepng’etich and Olympic 1,500 meters champion James Magut.

Athletics Kenya has not invited the trio to the Gold Coast trials which take place on Feb. 16-17 in Nairobi.

AK Vice President Paul Mutwii said the first three athletes across the finish line in the middle and long distance races will make the team to Commonwealth Games, ruling out the spare wild card ticket, which could have been used to enter those not at the trials.

“For the sprint races and field events, out selections will depend on allocation by the Games organizers,” said Mutwii.

Interestingly, the 2006 Melbourne Games 800m champion Janeth Jepkosgei, 34, is set to make a return after a three-year maternity break.

Jepkosgei, who won the 2007 world 800m title in Osaka, Japan, has been drawn against nine athletes including 2013 world champion Eunice Sum, and the 2016 Rio Olympic Games bronze medallist Margaret Nyairera.

Other gold medalists missing out on the trials after they failed to register for the Commonwealth Games are Caleb Mwangangi (5,000m), Joyce Chepkirui (10,000m) and Flomena Cheyech (marathon).

The Commonwealth Games kick off on April 4.

           

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