ATHLETES who did not finish within the medal bracket in the Kenya's men's 10,000m Olympics trials at the annual Prefontaine Classic have a chance to qualify for games in other disciplines.
National head coach Julius Kirwa said the qualification for the men's 10,000m Olympic team is a closed chapter and the rest of athletes who participated in Oregon trials will have to switch to other events and try their luck for either the Olympic Games or the Africa Championships. "We are done with the men's 10,000m team and those who didn't make it at the Prefontaine Classic meet should focus on the other track races," Kirwa said. He said most athletes who failed to make the podium in Oregon have a strong chance of making it in the 5,000m team to the Olympics.
Kirwa particularly singled out former world 5,000m champion Eliud Kipchoge (27.11.93), Commonwealth 5,000m bronze medallist Mark Kiptoo (27.18.22) and Olympic 10,000m bronze medallist Micah Kogo (27.23.04), saying they have a chance to represent the country in the other races. The three were placed 7th ,8th and 9th respectively in Oregon and were all favourites in run-up to the Prefontaine Classic. "Kipchoge has already attained the Olympics qualifying time in the 5,000m and he's still a strong contender to qualify in the event which is his specialty," he said, adding: "We can not also rule out Kiptoo and Kogo as we also have the Africa Championships coming even though everybody wants to head to the Olympic Games."
Athletics Kenya (AK) picked a team of 15 athletes to travel to Oregon, USA for the for men's 10,000m Olympic trials at the prefontaine Classic, where Africa 10,000m champion Wilson Kiprop (27.01.98) led Moses Masai (27.02.25) and Bedan Karoki (27.05.50) to the podium, hence making the cut in the 25-laps race. However, Kirwa said they are waiting for the AK officials, who accompanied the team, to officially announce the 10,000m team to the Olympics. "As far as I am concerned, all the three runners, who made the podium have qualified and are eligible for the Olympics," he added. Kenya has not won the 10,000m race at the Olympics stage since 1968 in Mexico when Naftali Temu did it.