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Kiplagat, Kabuu lead Kenya marathon team to Moscow worlds

28 June 2013, 14:05 John Kwoba

Nairobi - Chicago marathon bronze medallist Lucy Kabuu is relishing the challenge at the World Championships in Moscow after she was named in the six-member team by Kenya.

Kabuu, who made her marathon debut in 2012 and became the eighth fastest woman ever with a time of 2:19:34 hours for second place at the Dubai Marathon, wants to reward the faith Kenyan athletics officials have shown in her by clinching gold in Moscow.

"It is an honour for me to run at this level for Kenya. We were many in the provisional team, but for me to be selected among the top three is a surprise," she said Thursday in Iten.

"It has been five years since I last represented Kenya in any major competition. It was in Beijing Olympics games back in 2008 and I was seventh in the 10,000m race."

Kabuu was overlooked in her quest to defend the Commonwealth Games title in Delhi in 2010, where compatriot Vivian Cheruiyot ruled the roost. Kabuu was named in the 2012 World Half Marathon team in Bulgaria, but an ankle injury ruled her out.

She also sacrificed her slot in London Marathon this year to focus on preparing for the World Championships and her commitment has won the hearts of the Kenya marathon selectors.

She will team up with defending champion Edna Kiplagat and Olympic marathon silver medallist Priscah Jeptoo while Margaret Akai has been named on the reserve bench.

"The coaches looked at the consistence and commitment of athletes against time posted in previous competition in selecting the team," said David Okeyo, Athletics Kenya Vice President in charge of administration and competitions.

"We had five representatives in Daegu, South Korea two years ago because we were also entering a team for the marathon World Cup. However, we have reduced the number to three since the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has ended competition in World Cup."

The men team is made of unknown but classy athletes. There of course will be no defending champion Abel Kirui, who is out with a leg injury while Wilson Kipsang, the Olympic bronze winner has his sight elsewhere eyeing a world record in Berlin.

Kenya will be represented by Mike Kipyego, Bernard Kipyego and Bernard Koech, while green horn Peter Some, the Paris marathon champion will be on the reserve bench.

The team will have Richard Metto and Abraham Kiplimo as the coaches in their training camp in Iten.

A prize of 30,000 U.S. dollars will be given to the winner, with silver medallist taking US Dollars 20,000 while bronze medallist will have 15,000 dollars.

The team will be joined by another track and field squad, which will be selected on July 6 in Nairobi.

Kenya staged its best show in the competition in Daegu, where it secured 17 medals - seven gold, six silver and four bronze to finish third behind overall winners USA who clinched 25 medals (12 gold, eight silver and five bronze).

Russia was second with 19 medals - nine gold, four silver and six bronze while Jamaica settled for fourth with a paltry nine medals - four gold, four silver and one bronze.



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