Kipyegon and Kipchoge to lead Kenya’s star-studded Olympic athletics squad


Kenya’s athletics team for the 2024 Paris Olympics promises to be a formidable force, headlined by two-time Olympic champions Faith Kipyegon and Eliud Kipchoge.

The final squad was determined after an intense two-day Olympic Trials event, confirming 37 athletes so far, including 22 men and 15 women. With a reserve each for the men’s and women’s marathon squads, the team is poised to make a significant impact on the global stage.

While the current list of athletes is impressive, it is not yet final. Additional athletes who met the selection criteria of finishing among the top two at the Trials will have until the July 15 deadline to achieve the Olympic qualifying standards and secure their spots in the team.

Faith Kipyegon, who has battled a hamstring injury, is aiming for an ambitious double in Paris. The Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 women’s 1,500m champion has qualified for both her specialty and the 5,000m, showcasing her exceptional versatility and determination.

At the Trials, the 30-year-old was in stellar form. She clocked a remarkable 14:46.28 to win the 5,000m on Friday, followed by a high-altitude record of 3:53.99 in the 1,500m barely 24 hours later.

“It’s almost the middle of the season, but I’m happy I can run a good race,” said Kipyegon, a four-time world champion who completed the 1,500m/5,000m double at last year’s World Championships in Budapest.

Eliud Kipchoge, at 39, remains a beacon of excellence and ambition. The legendary marathoner aims to become Kenya’s first triple Olympic gold winner and the first in men’s marathon history to achieve this feat at the Olympics.

Kipchoge’s place in Paris was confirmed early last month when the marathon teams were announced, despite his eighth-place finish at the Tokyo Marathon earlier this year. His unwavering dedication and unmatched experience make him a key figure in Kenya’s Olympic aspirations.

The Trials also highlighted the emergence of young talents like Emmanuel Wanyonyi, who stunned the athletics world with his performance in the men’s 800m.

The 2023 World Championships silver medalist clocked an incredible 1:41.70, making him the third-fastest in history behind only David Rudisha’s 1:40.91 world record and Wilson Kipketer’s 1:41.11 from 1997.

Ferdinand Omanyala, Africa’s men’s 100m record holder and a Tokyo 2020 Olympics finalist, electrified the Trials by winning the 100m in a world-leading 9.79 seconds. His sights are set on becoming the first sprinter from East Africa to medal at an Olympics.

Faith Cherotich, a 17-year-old prodigy, delivered a sensational upset in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase, defeating world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech. Cherotich’s victory with a time of 9:22.28, just ahead of Chepkoech’s 9:22.76, earned her a well-deserved Olympic berth.

In the women’s 800m, world champion Mary Moraa (1:59.35) was narrowly beaten by the unheralded Lilian Odira, who won in 1:59.27. Odira’s performance positions her as a potential breakout star in Paris.

The Kenyan squad will be supported by a team of 13 coaches under the leadership of Paul Mutwii, Athletics Kenya vice-president.

Among the coaching staff is Mary Keitany, a three-time world half marathon champion, former marathon record holder, and seven-time Marathon Majors winner. Keitany will make her debut as a coach, bringing her wealth of experience to the team.

As Kenya’s athletes prepare for the 2024 Paris Olympics, the combination of seasoned champions and emerging talents promises an exciting and competitive showing.

With Kipyegon and Kipchoge leading the charge, the Kenyan team is set to leave an indelible mark on the world’s biggest sporting stage.

Photo: X

We are Africa’s number one online sports community created by true fans.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:




More like this