Athletics Kenya, the governing body for track and field and road racing in Kenya, announced which runners among its deep field of marathoners will represent the country at the Olympic Games in Rio. The list is a who’s who of recent World Marathon Majors champions.
For the men, Eliud Kipchoge, Stanley Biwott and Wesley Korir got the nod. On the women’s side, it will be Helah Kiprop, Jemimah Sumgong and Visiline Jepkesho.
— Athletics Kenya (AK) (@athletics_kenya) May 10, 2016
Among those missing from the list are world-record holder Dennis Kimetto, who’s 2:02:57 at the Berlin Marathon in 2014 is the only sub-2:03 marathon ever run. Also absent is Wilson Kipsang, the bronze medalist at the 2012 London Olympics. Their manager, Gerard van de Veen, told FloTrack that the two withdrew their names from consideration due to the anticipated heat and humidity in Rio.
Lately, though, it’s Kipchoge who’s established himself as the world’s best marathoner. He’s fresh off a London Marathon win in 2:03:05. He also won the London and Berlin marathons in 2015 and the Chicago Marathon in 2014. Stanley Biwott won the 2015 New York City Marathon, while Jemimah Sumgong recently won the women’s race at the London Marathon despite an early fall.
Though Athletics Kenya briefly considered selecting the team through an Olympic Trials race, ultimately the organization picked its team through a selection panel as it has in the past.
The United States’ Olympic marathon team was selected in February at the Olympic Trials marathon in Los Angeles, with the top three finishers in each race getting the nod. The team will include Galen Rupp, Meb Keflezighi and Jared Ward for the men and Amy Cragg, Desiree Linden and Shalane Flanagan for the women.
The women’s marathon at the Rio Olympics is scheduled for Aug. 14, with the men one week later on Aug. 21.