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Kenya picks 10,000m Olympics women's team

06-19-2012 03:24 BJT Special Report: 2012 London Olympic Games |

On 23rd June Kenya, will announce its final Athletics team to the Olympic games, except for the 10,000m teams. The men's team was selected in Eugene, Oregon early this months and last week the women's team was picked in Nairobi. Kenya has never won a medal over the 24 lap distance in the women's front, at the Olympics and the team selected, led by double world champion Vivian Cheruyot, will be expected to break the jinx. Celestine Karoney reports.

After her successful double event debut at the world athletics championships in 2011, Kenya's Vivian Cheruiyot last week completed the first phase in her quest to represent Kenya at two Olympic track events. The 25-year-old diminuitive athlete beat a strong field to win the 10,000m trials in Nairobi and book a London ticket. She out-sprinted All Africa games silver medallist Joyce Chepkirui to win in 32:24.52, with 2011 world silver medallist in the 10,000m Sally Kipyego, joining the duo in the london bound team.

Vivian Cheruiyot, Double World Champion: "We weren't running for time but for positions...and so the race begun slowly but it was comfortable for me"

Sally Kipyego, 2011 World Silver Medallist: "I knew it was going to be a hard race and this is testament to Kenya's long distance strength" The impressive talent in Kenya's distance runners was witnessed, when even a former world champion over the distance Linet Masai, couldn't finish the race, dropping off with less than five laps to go. Athletics officials in Kenya chose to hold the 24 lap race trials separately in order to give athletes who would like to double, a chance to do so. In 2011 Vivian made history by becoming the first Kenyan to win world titles in both the five and 10,000m distances. Going to London she will be looking to challenge double Olympic champion Ethiopia's Tirunesh Dibaba.

Vivian Cheruiyot, Double World Champion: "I cannot say i will win gold, silver or bronze but I can promise one thing...I will do my best for my country. I will work hard to achieve this" In 2011 Kenya won not just gold over the 10,000m event at the worlds but the top four runners were all Kenyan. In 2012 the selected team hopes for a repeat performance in London.

Sally Kipyego, 2011 World Silver Medallist: "We can try and yes we may succeed but we cannot be naive to say we will get it easily remember this is the Olympic games." While Vivian and Sally boast medals at the world stage Joyce finds herself the odd one out with her best performance being at the continental level. After failing to qualify for the world championships in Daegu, South Korea last year, she is looking to finally make her mark at the world stage in London.

Joyce Chepkirui, All Africa Games Silver Medallist: "I went back and worked hard inorder to qualify for Olympics...I am tired of attending the African championships every other time. I wanted to improve." Despite bookmakers tipping Kenya for long distance track glory in London, the three face a daunting task as they look to register Kenya's first medals at the Olympics, in an event which has been dominated by their arch rivals Ethiopia.

Editor:James |Source: CNTV

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