Thursday, 13 August 2009

Athletics: World Championships Kenyan Team

With the World Athletics Championships about to start from 15th August, Kenya has sent what I would put on paper as one of the strongest team to the German capital. With a fair share of the country's Olympic medallists qualifying, we can expect some real gold medal prospects for the country, but let's not humour ourselves too much.

We will give a brief preview of medal prospects here;

(Men): Alfred Kirwa, last year's bronze medallist at the Olympics games & reigning champ is captain of the team ( will it be motivating like it was for Wilfred Bungei last year?. He is partnered by David Rudisha & Jackson Kivuva. OUR TAKE: GOLD & BRONZE
( Women): Last year's sensation in the athletics world,Pamela Jelimo and Janeth Jepkosgei will again be hot favourites for gold & silver if from the national qualifiers anything is to go by.OUR TAKE: GOLD & SILVER

Men: Asbel Kiprop, with his signature one (not middle finger ...) salute on the finishing line will try graduate to the gold status. But American Kenyan-born Bernard Lagat and Olympic gold medallist Bahrain's Ramzi will be at hand to give the necessary competition. Kiprop has lieutenants in Augustine Choge & Haron Keitany to pace him up or they might upstage him and go for the prize. OUR TAKE: SILVER
Women: This was a pleasant surprise last year during the Olympics and this time we might not get so lucky. Nancy Jebet seeks to crown her career with another gold and her compatriot Irene Jelagat will also make a run-in. OUR TAKE: NO MEDALS (Sorry, but the form book says otherwise)

3000m steeplechase
For what most Kenyans believe is their event, we expect nothing less and the boys have what it takes to do just that. Brimin Kipruto will seek to regain his world title while Richard Mateelong will hope to break the 'bronze medal' jinx.The Frenchman who is making a run in will be at it again but 4 Kenyans, you can't beat that! OUR TAKE: GOLD & BRONZE.
Ruth Bosibori has been a rather patient athlete. She needs this to break free from the Olympics games disappointment. She has Gladys and Milkah to back her up and maybe just maybe, get to become like their brothers and start a ladies version of steeplechase supremacy. The Russians too will not be sleeping. OUR TAKE: SILVER

Ever since one Kenenisa Bekele happened on the scene, our Kenyan brothers have had nightmares and never really manage to fight these demons. They will be at it again and Eliud Kipchoge the only one closest to beating this Ethiopian legend may take a bow and honourably as such. Bernard Lagat may spoil the party but you never know. OUR TAKE: SILVER (Again !)
This has been a tough preposition for our sisters and the Ethiopians led by Tirunesh Dibaba will be out to spoil the party as usual. OUR TAKE: BRONZE ( At the most!)

Another of the specialties of the Ethiopian athletes, we need to find it within ourselves and make this happen. Another spoiler could be the Eritrean brother who won the 2007 who might get into the mix of things. OUR TAKE: SILVER (Oops, again!)
The Ethiopians again run this town. I'd wish to say we can make the party but alas, not this time. OUR TAKE: No Medals

We have formidable team led by Robert 'Mwafrika' Cheruiyot-4 time Boston Marathon winner, who makes marathon running look like child's play. He will have Daniel Rono- Toronto Marathon winner & Abel Kirui , reigning Vienna Marathon winner who finished second in the Berlin Marathon where Haile Gebreselassie set a world record.Emmanuel Mutai and Benjamin Mutai complete the marathoners.
OUR TAKE: GOLD & BRONZE ( we have the pedigree,baby!)
Hellen Kiprop, Martha Komu, Julie Murage and Irene Lemika & Risper Kimaiyo form our ladies charge for the marathon. Too bad Catherine 'The Great' Ndereba will not be at hand to defend her title,she would have offered great leadership and a medal too. OUR TAKE: No Medals ( Not enough pedigree...)

(PREDICTED) TOTAL MEDAL HAUL : 4 Gold, 5 Silver and 4 Bronze.

- In the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, Kenya finished second behind USA with 5 gold, 3 silver and 5 bronze medals.

- Overall, Kenya is the third most winning country with a total of 27 gold , 22 silver and 23 bronze. Fourth-placed Germany is just a gold medal away from overhauling us

- Kenya did not win any Gold in the inaugural Games in 1983 but came back with a bang in 1987 to take 3 golds with a surprise win in the marathon by then little known Douglas Wakiihuri.

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