Cheruiyot leads Kenya Olympic marathon squad

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Flag of Kenya
Flag of Kenya

Four-time Boston Marathon winner Robert Cheruiyot will lead the Kenyan team to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games marathon.

Cheruiyot, who posted his fourth Boston marathon victory Monday is among the high-riding Kenyan runners picked by the country’s athletics federation Wednesday.

He leads the Kenyan nine-member team which has five men and four women.

Also in the men’s team is London marathon winner Martin Lel, reigning men world marathon champion Luke Kibet and reigning world half marathon record holder Samuel Wanjiru.

Also in the team is Rotterdam champion William Kipsang.

Renowned long-distance runner and four-time Boston Marathon champion Catherine Ndereba leads the women’s team.

Ndereba is also the reigning women marathon world champion and 2004 Athens Olympic Games marathon silver medalist.

Martha Koome, whose most recent and notable achievement was winning the Paris Marathon, is also in the women’s team alongside Selina Kosgei, the 2002 Commonwealth Games 10,000 meters champion and reserve runner, Rita Cheptoo.

Releasing the names here Wednesday Athletics Kenya chairman Isaiah Kiplagataske d the athletes to embark on individual preparations ahead of the Olympic Games slated for 8-24 August in the Chinese capital, Beijing.

The athletes will embark on individual preparations before the team goes into camp in Nairobi after the National Championships-cum-national trials later in the year.

The national athletics federation gave the runners up to 28 April to confirm their availability for the games.

Kiplagat said naming the team was a daunting task because of the good performance of Kenyan athletes in major marathon events in 2007 and early 2008.

“In the last athletics season, Kenyans won 50 marathon events and have won another 25 so far this season,” said Kiplagat.

The most notable absentee from the Kenyan team is former five-time World Cross Country champion, Paul Tergat who opted out on Monday, citing inadequate preparations.

Tergat, a former world marathon record holder said work commitments made it difficult for him to prepare adequately for the Beijing marathon.

He said he deemed it fit to withdraw from the event and give the upcoming Kenyan runners a chance to compete at the Olympics, which was the dream of each and every sportsman and woman in the world.

Beijing Olympics 2008  The 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China takes place between August 8 and 24. This dossier focuses on the hopes, aspirations, and achievements of athletes from the African continent.
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