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Kenyan athletes plagued by injuries ahead of London World Championships

IANS logoIANS 23-06-2017

With only a month to the championships, head coach Julius Kirwa expressed his worry saying unless the athletes proved their fitness, it will be pointless to name them in the Kenya team which will be selected this weekend here, reports Xinhua news agency.

"I have got information Kemboi, Rudisha and Mucheru are carrying injuries. There is also Betsy Saina, who has just started her recovery after injury. It will be decided during the trials if they will be placed on the reserve list, but for now they have to show us that they are in training and in top shape," Kirwa said on Thursday.

Kemboi, the two-time Olympic 3,000m steeplechase gold medallist, said he wasn't feeling well and will have to watch the trials from the terraces.

The 35-year-old Kemboi, who will be seeking a record fifth consecutive victory during the London World Championships from August 4 to 13, will now bank on getting the wild card by virtue of being the defending champion.

"I have been a little bit unwell but I have resumed training," said Kemboi. The water and hurdles legend was planning to bow out on a high in the Rio Olympics last year but was beaten by his junior Conceslus Kipruto to finish third.

He vowed to finish on a high in London before heading for retirement. Kemboi has won the last four editions of the World Championships in 2009 Berlin, 2011 Daegu, 2013 Moscow and 2015 Beijing.

"Hopefully, I will be fit and ready to defend my title in London," said Kemboi. "If I am to retire, I want to sign off at the high podium."

Kemboi has been consistent on the big stage since his inaugural win in Mauritius in 2001 competing at the Africa Under-20 Championships.

For Rudisha, it is not an injury as such, but he is weighing his options and racing sparingly knowing he has a wild card to compete in London.

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