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Rudisha, Kemboi to spearhead Kenyan challenge in London

IANS logoIANS 25-06-2017

Lack of fitness and injury were cited as the reasons for keeping the two athletes out of trials and they got in the team with wild cards. However, the two will have their work cut out as Kenya seeks to improve on its haul of seven gold in Beijing in 2015, reports Xinhua news agency.

One man looking out to end a jinx and be crowned the world champion will be Geoffrey Kamworor, who takes his battle to the doorstep of his nemesis Mo Farah of Britain in the 10,000m race.

Kamworor will be accompanied by his peers Bedan Karorki and Paul Tanui, the three athletes that failed in the attempt to dethrone Farah in the Rio Olympics last year.

"We have to change tact and make it harder for Farah to beat us. We have been so predictable and during the last championships in Rio, we almost came close and he even acknowledged the same. Now we need to polish up a few tricks and take it to him head on. We can't continue playing second fiddle," said Kamworor on Saturday here.

As usual, Kenya trials will not lack the fair share of surprises and this year's event, held in chocking competition, had its bit with big names going home disappointed as youngsters staked claim to the tickets and will be looked upon to deliver the medals for the country in London.

The men's 800m team will have US-based Emmanuel Korir, Kipyegon Bett and Ferguson Rotich seeking to relegate the 800m king Rudisha to the sidelines. Rudisha, who has already suffered two defeats this season, has not gained momentum and will be hopeful that his last show in Ostrava on June 30 will showcase his strength as he puts his title on the line.

"I have started training and am not worried with the progress. I was worse off last year when I started and it has been so since I injured my knee three seasons ago. But I will beat it and get back to shape to defend my title in London," said Rudisha.

Michael Saruni, placed third behind Korir and Bett, was sacrificed to create room for Rotich, who finished fourth in the race. Rotich, who won the Diamond League trophy last year in 800m is eligible for the wild card selection as coaches went for experience over speed.

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