Well, the word has come down from on high, and a little earlier than expected at that. Originally scheduled to be announced April 30th, today at a packed news conference in Naiobi, Athletics Kenya named their highly anticipated Olympic Marathon squads.
Men: Wilson Kipsang, Abel Kirui, Moses Mosop…
Women: Mary Keitany, Edna Kiplagat, Priscah Jeptoo…
“We have selected the athletes based on their individual performances after the major Marathon races they have participated in this season with a lot of emphasis on experience,” AK President Isaiah Kiplagat told the gathering.
The women’s selection held no surprises, top three at London, all of whom have performed well in recent performances before that, including reigning World Champion Edna Kiplagat and silver medalist Priscah Jeptoo. Two-time London champion Mary Keitany is, of course, the lioness herself.
The only other candidate with claim might have been Boston champ Sharon Cherop, the bronze medal winner in Daegu. But even her own team knew her Olympic chance came and went in Dubai in January where, though she ran a PR 2:22:39, it only harvested seventh place. Regardless of her win in Boston, AK was not going to put someone on the team whose third marathon of the year would be the Olympic Marathon.
Men’s team was always the more intriguing selection. But of the six provisional picks, only Wilson Kipsang performed at his best this spring, winning London handily.
M. Mosop 2:05:02 – 3rd, Rotterdam
G. Mutai DNF, Boston
W.Kipsang 2:04:44 – 1st, London
A. Kirui 2:07:56 – 6th, London
E. Mutai 2:08:01 – 7th, London
P. Makau DNF, London