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Top Kenya names bow out of World Athletics marathon team

Kenya has been forced to make changes to its marathon squad for the World Athletics championships in Budapest in August after the biggest names bowed out of the team.

Last Friday Athletics Kenya (AK) picked Kelvin Kiptum, the world’s second fastest marathon runner, and the women’s world marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei for the August 19 to 27 championships.

But the pair, along with 2023 London marathon silver medallist Geoffrey Kamworor, withdrew in quick succession, forcing Athletics Kenya to name new replacements on Wednesday.

“We selected the best runners we have for the marathon, but we cannot force them to compete in Budapest,” Paul Mutwii, the AK director of competitions, told AFP on Thursday.

However Kiptum, who was expected to make his international debut for Kenya, told AFP he had not reached a conclusive agreement with AK over his availability for Budapest.

Titus Kipruto, the 2022 Milan marathon champion, will lead the men’s team, alongside Timothy Rono and Joshua Belet.

Reigning Tokyo marathon champion Rosemary Wanjiru is retained in the women’s team that also includes former world half marathon bronze medallist Selly Chepyego Kaptich and Shyline Jepkorir Toroitich.

Four other runners have been named to the reserve team.

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