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Kenya reverses decision on Olympic marathon selection

29 October 2015, 19:30

Nairobi - Kenya said Wednesday it has scrapped plans to hold Olympic marathon team trials and will select runners based purely on performances in international marathons, following pressure from the athletes and coaches.

Athletics Kenya (AK) announced last week they would hold trials to pick the 2016 Olympic Games marathon teams in February, in a bid to improve the country's performance in Rio.

It followed disappointing results in the 2012 London Olympics and the 2013 and 2015 World championships in Moscow and Beijing.

But the teams will now be selected in early May after the London marathon, as it has been the tradition in the past.

"Following consultations with athletes, coaches and other stakeholders regarding the selection of the marathon team to represent Kenya during the 2016 Olympic Games, the selection of the athletes will be based on performances and results achieved from the IAAF World Championships 2015, Tokyo marathon, London marathon, Berlin marathon, Chicago marathon, New York marathon and any other marathon held not later than April 30, 2016," AK said in a statement.

"The athletes selected will be announced on May 1, 2016, and thereafter will be informed when and where to go for residential training camp in preparation for the Olympics."

The decision would grant the 2015 Berlin marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge his wish to defend his London marathon title in April and seek selection in the Olympic team.

The former world 5,000m champion Kipchoge, who disappointedly missed selection for the London Olympics after finishing seventh at the Kenyan trials, has expressed his desire to run the marathon in Rio.

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