NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
44-year-old Veteran runner Kenneth Mungara can be seen
rubbing his hands with glee here as he makes his debut
for Kenya in international competition.
But for a
country that has seen its athletes win 80 of the world’s
top 100 marathons over the last decade, Mungara’s might
have been rightly overlooked by the coaching selection
Mungara, who won the Gold Coast Marathon in 2015 and
2016 before settling for second in last year’s race, is
one among many runners eyeing a call up to the national
“It is a
dream come true, albeit late. I had always wanted to
represent my country, but each year, there were better
runners ahead of me and no matter what I did, the
selectors never looked my way,” said Mungaru.
veteran runner has accrued 15 career marathon wins
including the Singapore Marathon in 2010, Toronto
Waterfront Marathon in 2008 to 2011 and Mumbai in 2009.
A return to
Gold Coast would have been unlikely having raced three
times and winning twice. But he returns with a purpose:
to repay the faith that the selectors had in him and
reclaim the gold, which Kenya lost in Glasgow 2014 to
Australian Michael Shelley.
are high for me. Eyes will be on me and the other
Kenyans named in the team and contrary to what critics
say the team is weak, we will emerge winners,” he said.
team up with the 2017 Copenhagen Marathon champion
Julius Karinga and seasoned long distance runner
Nicholas Kamakya, who won the Gold Coast Marathon in
2011 and finished fourth at 2012 Berlin Marathon.
women’s team is equally unknown and will be led by
Shelmith Muriuki. Others are Hellen Nzembi and Sheilah
face the hard task to successfully defend Kenya’s gold
and silver medals won by Flomena Cheyech and Caroline
Kemboi respectively in the 2014 games in Glasgow.