The Kenyan OG Marathoners revealed


Kenya announces London Olympic Marathon squad

Abel Kirui celebrates winning his second World Marathon title (Getty Images)

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    Nairobi, Kenya - Freshly minted London Marathon champions Wilson Kipsang and Mary Keitany will front Kenya’s Marathon team to the Olympics as Athletics Kenya (AK) announced the long awaited line-up on Wednesday (25).

Two-time World champion, Abel Kirui, who slumped to sixth in Sunday’s race at the Olympics city as well as the Chicago Marathon title holder Moses Mosop complete the men’s squad with Daegu gold winner Edna Kiplagat and silver medallist Priscah Jeptoo sealing the women’s trio.

“We have selected the athletes based on their individual performances after the major Marathon races they have participated in this season with a lot of emphasis on experience,” AK President Isaiah Kiplagat told a packed media conference.

The selection of Mosop, who finished third at the Rotterdam Marathon in 2:05:02, was perhaps the surprise inclusion in a squad that was whittled down from 12 probables named by the federation in January.

“If you look at the time posted by Mosop, although he was third in Rotterdam he has done much better than most athletes as well as Kipsang who was four seconds shy of the record in London hence we believe this is the best team to represent us in London,” Kiplagat noted of last year’s Boston runner-up who breezed to 2:03:06.
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I seem to remember AK “guaranteeing” Makau a spot after last year’s record. The way they run things over there is curious indeed.

If I were Geoffrey Mutai, I would be really upset right now. What was the largest margin of victory at Kenya’s XC Nats before he won it by something like 44 seconds? I think his NYC victory is arguably the best marathon ever run, and I think the argument for that is very strong.

Mosop has incredible upside being a “new” marathoner, however right now his times are average. His official 2:05:03 PR is average, really. All the current names at the top are pretty much between 2:04:30 and 2:05:30. While he did trail Geoffrey closely at Boston, I believe Geoffrey’s NYC race was a superior performance.

All of this doesn’t matter as Abshero is going to win gold now that Wanjiru has passed. I bet Kipsang will give him a run for his money, though.


Mosop surprises me although he has worn the Kenyan singlet at a ton of events so that added to some rather high profile DNFs perhaps swung the pendulum his way?

Mosop has competed for Kenya at:

2003 All Africa 10,000 (5th)
2004 Olympics 10,000 (7th)
2005 World Championships 10,000 (3rd, setting a personal best)
2007 World XC (2nd and Team Gold)
2009 World XC (11th and Team Gold)

Add in his half marathon debut where he finished 2nd, his blazing 2nd finish in Boston, his 25K and 30K WRs, his championship record win in Chicago (beating Wanjiro’s record) and his 3rd in Rotterdam and suddenly his selection becomes more clear . . . this is a dude who has shown up time and again for Kenya and has been consistent in results.

(Thank you wikipedia for all this fine info . . . )


Mosop is definitely an INCREDIBLE athlete. Superb longevity too. However,

  • The 25 and 30k WRs were weak, so while his records aren’t meaningless, they aren’t really meaningful either.

  • Unfit or not when he broke it, the CR @ Chicago was weak as well. (I’m Wanjiru’s biggest fan, but both Chicago races were very sub-par for him.) That race doesn’t tell us much.

I’m guessing they (AK) just really like his consistency. In 2004 people thought Tergat was going to pwn house and due to drinking cold water he got cramps and finished 10th. Probably every Olympics Kenya freaks out over one of their favorites not performing up to snuff. And as you said king_coe the double-whammy of Mutai and Makau failing to finish.

Honestly I think the pressure got to both of them.


Re: Makau and Mutai

Or perhaps they decided they didn’t want to waste an effort competing for a non-supportive country and save their energy for big payday events.

Bomb out in their selection races and you don’t have to worry about the OG.

Not saying they did, just saying you never know.


I would switch out kirui for G mutai


Hard to say “RIDICULOUS!” because these choices are so good as well, but…I definitely don’t agree all around.


dude last olympics they werent even going to give luke kibet a spot on the team even after he won the world championships and the only reason he got on was because one of those selected had to pull out with an injury or something like that. so if they did this last time, why is abel kirui getting this automatic spot over makau, who already was guaranteed a spot. i dont care if the other runners are stronger than makau, the guy broke a world record and if that doesnt get you in then thats just the ****iest jip of life.


Ethiopians licking their chops at this news.



NAIROBI: Emmanuel Mutai, who won last year’s London Marathon, will replace injured Moses Mosop in the Kenyan team for the London Olympics.

Mosop, who won the Chicago race in October, has suffered an achilles tendon injury that has ruled him out of the Games. Double world champion Abel Kirui and Wilson Kipsang, who won the London Marathon in April, are the other members of the team.

“Emmanuel Mutai was among the six marathoners we named in the provisional team. We did not want to go outside that list, and we think Mutai is best placed for that assignment,” Athletics Kenya secretary general, David Okeyo, told reporters on Tuesday.

“He (Mosop) has had persistent achilles tendon injury and we all thought it would heal. But he wrote a letter to us withdrawing from the team after it became apparent it would not heal in time for the Games.”

Athletics Kenya will name the rest of the team for the London Olympics on June 23, except the women’s 10,000 metres team which will be named at the east African nation’s National Championships to be held later this week. - Reuters