Kitwara leads Kenyan team to Birmingham

Submitted by Yomi Omogbeja on 24 September 2009 - 11:42pm

Sammy Kitwara, the second fastest marathon runner in the world this year, will lead the Kenyan team to the IAAF / EDF Energy World Half Marathon Championships in Birmingham, UK next month.

Kitwara, 22, the winner of the Rotterdam Half Marathon a few weeks back in a personal best time of 58:58, is the only person to have beaten Ethiopian great Haile Gebrselassie this year.

Others in the team are Kiplimo Kimutai, Wilson Kipsang Kipyego, Wilson Kwambai and Benard Kiprop Kipyego.

Udine 2007 World Half Marathon silver medallist Mary Jepkosgei Keitany, who was second to Lornah Kiplagat of Netherlands, leads the women team that also comprise of  Philis Ongori, the fourth fastest runner of the year; Peninah Jerop Arusei; Caroline Cheptanui Kilel and Philomena Cheyech.

Ngatuny snub

Meanwhile, former national cross-country champion, Gideon Ngatuny, has turned down his selection to represent Kenya at the championships.

Japan based Ngatuny told local media: "I have nothing against AK and I'm not bitter.

"In fact I was happy to be named to the World Half Marathon team and with my good form I'm sure I could have won it, but my employers [Nissin Shokuhin] are not going to grant me permission."

Both Kitwara and Ngatuny were dropped by Athletics Kenya from the 2009 World Athletics Championships squad after they ran in unsanctioned races in the US and Japan ahead of the Berlin World Championships.

Full Team

Kiplimo Kimutai
Sammy Kitwara
Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich
Bernard Kiprop Kipyego
Wilson Kwambai Chebet

Mary Jepkosgei Keitany
Philes Ongori
Filomena Cheyech
Peninah Jerop Arusei
Caroline Cheptanui Kilel