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Jeptoo opts out of marathon team, cites fatigue

02 July 2013, 18:04 John Kwoba

Nairobi - Kenya's London Marathon champion Priscah Jeptoo has opted out of the Kenya team for the World Championships citing fatigue.

Jeptoo, who turned 29 just a week ago, has asked for permission to rest before considered for another marathon.

"I have to rest and I also told the same to Athletics Kenya. Luckily they agreed to release me after I had made the short list of four to go to Moscow for the World Marathon Championships in August," she said Tuesday in Eldoret.

The World marathon silver medallist has just resumed training and cannot be ready for the Championships in time.

This leaves just defending champion Edna Kiplagat as the steel on which the silk of former Sao Paulo marathon champion Eunice Jepkirui, Lucy Kabuu, silver medallist at Dubai in 2012 and reserve athlete Margaret Agai will be wrapped on.

Athletics Kenya (AK) Secretary general David Okeyo confirmed that Eunice will be brought into the team, despite not having been placed on the provincial list earlier announced.

It means only Kiplagat has experience running in the competition or any other top event. Kabuu has been to the Commonwealth Games, winning gold in 10,000m and silver over the 5,000m distance in 2006 in Melbourne.

She was also in Beijing 2008 Olympics but she wound up seventh in the 10,000m distance. Both Akai and Jepkirui will be making their debut at the event.

The men's team remain the same with 23-year-old Paris Marathon champion Peter Some remaining as the reserve athlete.

He will be on the sidelines in the event that any of the three selected -- 2012 Tokyo Marathon champion Michael Kipyego, 2009 World Half Marathon silver medallist Bernard Koech, who won Rock "N" Roll Half Marathon in 58: 41 and Bernard Kipyego, sixth placed at the 2011 Chicago Marathon.

Michael Kipyego said he will be making an effort to work with the other members of the team and will sacrifice his own ambition to make sure the country retain the title that has been won by Abel Kirui in the last two editions.

"With a combination, we will do something good for this country in Moscow," he said. "I believe we have the strength and skills to pull a surprise."

"I am now polishing up on speed work. I had nice build up races in Lisbon and Rock N' Roll half marathons," Michael Kiplagat added.

The marathon team will be coached by Richard Metto and Abraham Kiplimo and will be based in Iten. Kiplimo was in charge of the team in 2011 where Kenya five of the six medals on offer in the 42km distance for both men and women races.

"It was hard then because many of our team members were known. But this time Kenya brings on board the element of novice. We are not parading big stars apart from Edna Kiplagat."

"Newcomers in marathon always carry with them a surprise package," said Kiplimo.


Men - Bernard Kiprop Koech, Michael Kipkorir Kipyego, Bernard Kiprop Kipyego and Peter Kimeli Some (Reserve)

Women - Edna Kiplagat, Eunice Jepkirui, Lucy Kabuu and Margaret Agai (Reserve).

- Xinhua

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