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Kenya Selects 25 Runners For
World Cross Country Championships

reigning women 10,000m world champion Linet Masai is
Among 25 runners and ten officials who will represent
the country at the World Cross in Bydgoszcz, Poland

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NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s athletics officials on Saturday picked 25 runners to represent the country during this year’s World Cross Country Championships in Poland.th was selected as a reserve.

Only nine athletes who competed at last year’s World Cross Country Championships in Amman emerged with tickets to Poland following the Kenyan championships.

Among the 25 runners and ten officials who will represent the country at the World Cross in Bydgoszcz, Poland are reigning women 10,000m world champion Linet Masai, who won senior 8km individual silver in Amman among the high profile names that left the intensely contested selection event unscathed.

"I planned to break after the fourth kilometre and unlike Amman.

"I will look to see where my opponents are when I go forward.

"I’m very happy to get another chance to represent my country and I hope this year, I will return with gold," Masai, who lost the top medal last year to compatriot, Florence Kiplagat, at the final climb in Jordan told reporters.

The 2007 junior champion and bronze winner a year later lay down the marker when she sprinted clear from the field to romp home unchallenged in 26:43.0, 20 seconds ahead of second placed Lineth Chepkurui (27:03.5).

Masai and Chepkurui who finished fourth were the only survivors from Amman who made the Kenyan women’s 8km team.

Defending champion, Kiplagat did not compete after failing to recover from a knee injury sustained during the Berlin World Championships last summer.

Margaret Wangari (27:05.8) was third ahead of Emily Muge (27:06.6) and Monica Wangari (27:13.2) who completed the top five.

In the men’s 12km event un-fancied Paul Tanui, stunned a line-up to seal a great upset when he won the highly anticipated long race at a canter with a margin of over 500m between him and closest challenger to boot.

Tanui, who was fourth at last year’s junior race in Amman breasted the tape in 35:12.5, a massive 30 seconds ahead of runner-up Lucas Rotich (35:42.7) with Joseph Ebuya (35:44.8), Hosea Macharinyang (35:47.4) and Leonard Komon (35:56.2) taking third, fourth and fifth positions.

In addition to the top four who secured automatic places, Edinburgh 2008 silver medallist, Komon who was fourth last year and sixth finisher in Amman Matthew Kisorio made the squad alongside Richard Mateelong, the world 3,000m steeplechase silver medallist who was sixth (35:58.0).

Kisorio who finished 20

"I was not expecting to win here and I thank God it has happened.

"My plan was to keep close to the leaders so that when they break, I would be with them but when I went in front and realized no one was following, I pushed on to increase the gap and I’m so happy to win," Tanui said.th at last year’s World Cross secured their places in the Bydgoszcz squad, the latter in style following his emphatic 23:38.0 victory.

Kenyan team to Bydgoscz

Junior women 6km: Nelly Chebet, Purity Cherotich, Faith Chepngetich, Mercy Cherono, Alice Aprot, Esther Chemutai.

Junior men 8km: Charles Chebet, Paul Mutero, Caleb Mwangangi, Japheth Korir, Gideon Kipketer, Isaiah Kiplagat.

Senior women 8km: Linet Masai, Lineth Chepkurui, Margaret Wangari, Emily Muge, Ann Wanjiru, Gladys Chepng’ eno.

Senior men 12km: Paul Tanui, Lucas Rotich, Joseph Ebuya, Hosea Macharinyang, Leonard Komon, Richard Mateelong, Matthew Kisorio.

Officials: David Letting, John Mwithiga, Charles Muthuri Mathiu (coaches), Henry Alukhaba (team manager), Paul Keriako (assistant team manager), Elizabeth Keitany (chaperone), Peter Nduhiu, Japheth Kariakim (physiotherapists), Peter Angwenyi (press liaison), Sarah Sibuche (government representative).

In the junior men 8km category, Japheth Korir and Charles Kibet who finished fifth and 13

Paul Mutero (23:40.8/second), Caleb Mwangangi (23:42.4/third), Gideon Kipketer (23:52.6/fifth) and Isaiah Kiplagat (23:54.6/sixth) also made the team.

Korir was fourth (23:48.5).

Amman World Cross silver medallist, Mercy Cherono and Nelly Chebet who was fifth in the women 6km junior run also made the cut.

Chebet won the selection race in 20:12.7 ahead of Purity Cherotich (20:13.6), Faith Chepngetich (20:21.6), Cherono (20:24.6), Alice Aprot (20:25.6) and Esther Chemutai (20:32.5) all who will feature in Poland.

Assistant coach David Letting, who has spent the last five years in that position was elevated to the head coach role and will be assisted by John Mwithiga and Charles Muthuri.
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