NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto and fellow
world titleholders Elijah Manangoi and Hellen Obiri will lead
the star-studded Kenyan track and field team for the 2018
Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.
Athletics Kenya (AK)
selected 60 athletes on Saturday following the conclusion of the
Commonwealth trials in Nairobi with former world champions
Julius Yego and Nicholas Bett also included in the squad.
Rio 2016 Olympics
silver medallist Yego and Jonathan Muia Ndiku are the only gold
winners from the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland
who will return to seek their second Games titles.
While Yego will line
up in his men Javelin speciality, Ndiku who won the 3000m
steeplechase gold in Scotland has since stepped up the distance
to 10,000m as he bids to make history as the first Kenyan to bag
Commonwealth gold at two events.
The team that will
be led by head coach Japheth Kemei, is out to beat their record
performance at the event in Delhi 2010 where the track and field
squad brought home 11 gold, 10 silver and eight bronze, having
minted 10 gold, 10 silver and three bronze in Scotland to top
the athletics charts for the second successive edition.
masters’ record holder (40-44 years), Kenneth Mburu Mungara, 44,
is the eldest member of the team as he returns to the Australian
city he won the 2015 Gold Coast Airport Marathon title in
Kipruto, who added
the world 3,000m steeplechase title to his Rio 2016 Olympics
crown was among the big names given a wildcard by AK for Gold
Coast having falling ill on the eve of the Trials on Friday upon
arrival to Nairobi from his Eldoret base.
“I wanted to compete
and make it to the squad for Australia but after becoming sick,
I requested AK for the wildcard,” the former world Under 18
He was paired with
2016 world under 20 champion Amos Kirui and African bronze
winner Abraham Kibiwott with the 23-year-old Olympic winner
hoping to inspire another Kenyan 3,000m steeplechase medal sweep
achieved by Jonathan Ndiku, Jairus Birech and Ezekiel Kemboi in
that order at Glasgow 2014.
Manangoi who was
beaten at the Kenyan trials on Saturday by training partner and
London 2017 worlds silver medalist Timothy Cheruiyot as well as
Obiri are keen to add the Commonwealth men 1,500m and women
5,000m crowns to their medal collection after a barnstorming
season last year where they won their first senior world titles.
Yego who threw
83.87m to beat London 2012 Olympics champion Kershorn Walcott to
the gold in Scotland is aiming at rediscovering his form after
an injury-plagued 2017 saw him miss out on the podium in the
defence of his world title.
Bett, who stunned
the world when he won the men 400m hurdles gold medal at Beijing
2015, returns to the Kenyan team after missing out on a title
defence in London through injury.
He will run
alongside twin brother Aron Koech, the 2016 African bronze
winner with Willy Mbevi the third Kenyan men 400m hurdler for
African women’s 20km
racing walking record holder Grace Wanjiru and Matthew Sawe who
won the African men high jump crown in Johannesburg, South
Africa in 2016 also made the squad.