Kabuu seals place in Moscow squad


Posted on Thursday, June 27th, 2013 at 10:48 am

Lucy Kabuu has been knocking on the doors of the national athletics team relentlessly since turning to marathon last year.

Finally, the 29-year-old 2006 Commonwealth Games 10,000m champion, who hails from Ichamara, Mukurweini, Central region, now has the dice in her hand.

Kabuu was named in the final team of four women that include world marathon titleholder, Edna Kiplagat, 2013 London marathon champion, Priscah Jeptoo and Margaret Akai for the World Championships due from August 10 to 18 in Moscow, Russia.

After the diminutive runner won the 2010 Commonwealth Games 10,000m gold and silver in 5,000, she took a break occasioned by an injured Achilles and a pregnancy.

Married to fellow athlete Josephat Maina, who doubles as her coach alongside, Kabuu would come back stronger with victory at 2011 Delhi Half Marathon in a personal best of 1:07:04.

That would set the stage for her marathon debut at the 2012 Dubai Marathon. Kabuu, would complete the race in second place in 2:19:34, the ninth all time fastest time in the world after losing the battle to Ethiopia’s Aselefech Mergia (2:19:31).

new running shoes
Her efforts to make the national team for the 2012 London Olympics failed after she developed an injury owing to her new running shoes during the 2012 London Marathon which Athletics Kenya used to shortlist the final team. Her fifth place finish in London was not enough to secure a place at the Olympics.

Consequently, her shot at the 10,000m also came a cropper when she failed to finish in the 10,000m trial race at the Prefontaine Classic.

At the 2012 Chicago Marathon, her third marathon of the year, she finished third.

Personal best

Her way to the top this season has proved smooth after winning the 2013 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon with personal best of 1:06:09, just 19 seconds off Keitany’s world record in February.

She opted out of this year’s London Marathon in April saying she had not recovered fully after her exploits at Ras Al Khaimah.

Kabuu came back strongly to run the third fastest time over 25km on her victory at the BIG 25 Berlin in May, crossing the line in 1:21:37.

“After my dream of making to the London Olympics went up in smoke, my target was the World Championships and I thank God for making the final team,” said Kabuu, who finished ninth at the 2004 Athens Olympics and seventh at the 2008 Beijing Olympic in 10,000m.

“I am so delighted and I should pay back with a podium finish.”

Kabuu said the team is strong with experienced Kiplagat and Jeptoo, who won gold and silver respectively during the in the 2011 Championships in Daegu.

superlative form
Kiplagat, 33, who had a bad outing at the London Olympic Games, finishing 12th, hopes to retain her title while Jeptoo is eying to take her superlative form from London to Moscow streets.

Kiplagat finished second behind Keitany at the 2012 London Marathon with a personal best of 2:19:50 before returning in the same position this year behind Jeptoo said she is eager to retain her title.

Stronger team

“With Kabuu and Akai in the mix, we have a stronger team than the one we had in 2011,” said Kiplagat, who won Rock “N” Roll Half Marathon in the USA in 68:57 early this month.

Making the men’s team are the 23-year-old Paris Marathon champion, Peter Some, the 2012 Tokyo Marathon champion, Michael Kipyego, 2009 World Half Marathon silver medalist and Bernard Kipyego.

Also in the team is Bernard Koech, who is fresh from winning the Rock “N” Roll Half Marathon in 58: 41, the fastest time ever run in America and the fastest in the world this year.

Two-time defending champion, Abel Kirui bowed out early this week owing to an injury.
But will this little known athletes spring a surprise in Moscow?

Kirui, who was eying history as the first man to win three consecutive titles before his withdrawal, tipped the men’s team to surprise many despite comprising upcoming athletes.

“It will play to Kenya’s advantage. Little known athletes are always lethal and I believe they will do something good for the country,” said Kirui, who won silver at the London Olympics.

Some, a bother to Matthew Kisorio, began 2013 in strong form, winning the Discovery Half Marathon in Eldoret, then improving his personal best to 1:00:21 at the Lisbon Half Marathon, where he was second to Bernard Koech.

That served a good build-up to the Paris Marathon where he stunned many by beating favourite Tadese Tola to clinch the title in a personal best of 2:05:38.

Kipyego, who is the 2002 World Junior 3,000m steeplechase champion, switched to marathon  in 2011 to chalk his personal best of 2:06:48 with a third place finish at the Eindhoven Marathon before winning the 2012 Tokyo Marathon.

Those who failed to make the women’s team are the 2012 London Marathon and national record holder, Mary Keitany (2:19:17), Boston Marathon champion, Rita Jeptoo and 2011 Berlin Marathon champion Florence Kiplagat.

Also out of the team are the 2012 Boston Marathon champion Sharon Cherop, who won a bronze medal in the 2011 Daegu Worlds and 2008 Amsterdam Marathon champion, Lydia Cheromei.

Missing from the men’s team are Olympic bronze medalist Wilson Kipsang, 2009 Berlin Worlds silver medalist, Emmanuel Mutai (2:04:40), Hamburg Marathon champion, Eliud Kipchoge, three-time Vienna Marathon champion, Henry Sugut and World 25km record holder Dennis Kimetto.

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