Why Eliud Kipchoge is assured of his slot in Kenya’s Olympics team

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge after winning his second Olympics title in Tokyo. Photo: Imago

ATHLETICS Why Eliud Kipchoge is assured of his slot in Kenya’s Olympics team

Joel Omotto 16:06 - 25.03.2024

Two-time Olympics champion Eliud Kipchoge’s recent form has seen some doubt whether he will be able to defend his title in Paris but Athletics Kenya looks set to have him on the team.

Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge will definitely be at the Paris 2024 Games despite his indifferent form in his recent races.

Kipchoge has won one of his three marathons [Berlin 2023], coming after a sixth-place finish in Boston the same year, before a 10th placing in Tokyo this month.

That has seen doubts emerge from some observers who feel the GOAT might not have enough to claim a third straight Olympics gold while others have even called for the 39-year-old to give way but athletics coach Julius Kirwa feels it would be ill advised to write him off.

“Kipchoge is good and we depend on him,” Kirwa, who is among those who will select Kenya’s final marathon squad to Paris, told Pulse Sports.

“We encourage him to ignore everything that is being said about him and only concentrate on representing the country. I know he is ready and capable of representing the country as he has always done,” added Kirwa.

Kirwa insists Kipchoge has to be on the plane to Paris due to his status and the fact the he is one of the most reliable athletes for Kenya even if emerging stars are threatening to dethrone him.

“Eliud is a defending champion and is always available to represent the country,” said the veteran coach. “We cannot say because there are others who have come and run better than him we are going to leave him out.”

“We give them an opportunity to represent the country based on knowledge, capabilities, strength and discipline, which is very important.”

Kipchoge was part of a strong 10-man provisional team unveiled last December that had the late Kelvin Kiptum, with 2024 Tokyo Marathon champion Benson Kipruto, Timothy Kiplagat and Vincent Ngetich, who finished second and third in Tokyo, Bernard Koech, two-time New York Marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor, Cyprian Kotut, 2022 London Marathon champion Amos Kipruto and Titus Kipruto.

Following Kiptum’s demise, Athletics Kenya intend to add another name to the list before the final three are unveiled by May with the women’s team having defending champion Peres Jepchirchir, former world record holder Brigid Kosgei, Boston and New York Marathon champion Hellen Obiri, 2019 world champion Ruth Chepng'etich, 2024 Tokyo Marathon runners-up Rosemary Wanjiru, Joycilline Jepkosgei, Sheila Chepkirui, Judith Korir, Seley Chepyego and Sharon Lokedi.

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