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Team depth put to question as AAG squad is selected

Amos Abuga @PeopleSport11

Athletics Kenya (AK) President Jack Tuwei had reservations upon naming of the men’s steeplechase team for this year’s All Africa Games at the weekend.

Tuwei’s remarks came after Benjamin Kigen clocked 8:16.43 ahead of Joash Kiplimo in 8:21.94 with the duo earning direct tickets for the quadrennial continental games.

The three-day trials were used to select the team to the African Games to be held from August 23 to September 3 in Rabat, Morocco.

This came at a time the world’s most decorated 3,000m steeplechase runner Ezekiel Kemboi has admitted he might make a comeback to the track for the World Athletics championship due in Doha, Qatar in September.

Before the trials, coach Julius Kirwa had said Kenya is slowly but surely headed to losing its grip on the race therefore the reason behind turning to the old guards of Kemboi and Brimin Kipruto.

“Presently, the rest of athletics world’s drought in the race is about to end. That is why we need someone like Kemboi to remind the junior athletes what the event means to the country,” Kirwa told People Sport.

“Kemboi’s CV reads that he is the only athlete to have won four consecutive World track medals in the same event, not forgetting his two Olympic medals,” said Kirwa.

The multiple gold medal winner Kemboi who made his marathon debut at the 2019 Hamburg marathon says he is seriously considering returning for Doha.

“It’s true the coach has reached out to us for a possible return. It is something I think I will go for. As athletes we have a mandate to guide the upcoming ones,” Kemboi told People Sport.

In the women’s corresponding race, Beatrice Chepkoech clocked 9:26.64 ahead of Mercy Wanjiru (9:28.85) and Roselyn Chepngetich (9:32.10), the first two securing tickets for the African Games.

In Javelin, Olympic silver medalist Julius Yego as expected, made it for the African Games. Yego, the reigning African champion, speared a leading 78.02m with Alexander Kiprotich (74.79m) as the duo qualified.

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