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Kenyan Athletes at World Athletics Championship 2023: Kipyegon carries Kenya’s faith

The World Athletics Championships are just around the corner, which means that the best athletes on the planet will descend on the Hungarian capital of Budapest in a few days time. A handful of those top-class athletes represent one East African. That’s right, it’s Kenya, the nation that has produced many fine track stars over the years.

Kenya World Athletics Championships
Photo by Icon Sport.

Team Kenya are set to send a team of 57 athletes to Budapest for the 2023 World Athletics Championship. That’s a relatively small team compared to the likes of USA, but what it lacks in numbers it more than makes up for in terms of sheer top-class performers.

The Kenyan World Championships team is packed full of medal hopefuls, so let’s take a look at those who can fly the flag for the East African nation:

Kenyan Female Athletes

The current crop of Kenyan athletes is certainly a good one and there are indeed several who go to Budapest with very real medal chances, but their premier performer is arguably double world record holder Faith Kipyegon. The middle/long distance runner has been virtually unstoppable running over both 1500m and 5000m in recent years. The 29-year-old is a two-time world champion at 1500m, while she’s also a two-time Olympic champion, not to mention a three-time Diamon League gold medallist. Oh, and she also holds the world record for the women’s 5000m having run 14:05:20 in Paris earlier this year. Don’t be surprised if she scoops another couple of top prizes here.

Another outstanding Kenyan women in attendance at the World Championships will be Jackline Chepkoech, who is currently favourite to win the 3000m Steeplechase. The teenage sensation picked up a gold medal at the Under-20 World Championships back in 2021, while she was crowned champion at the Commonwealth Games last year too. She may be just 19, but she’s a competitor with a bright future. Victory in Budapest is far from beyond her grasp, that’s for sure.

If Jackline Chepkoech is to collect her first world title, then she’ll have to beat her namesake and world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech, who is currently the second favourite with the bookies. the 32-year-old picked up her first and only world title in Doha in 2019, while she’s also a two-time Diamond League gold medallist, but can she fend off her fast-improving compatriot? We’ll soon find out.

The full list of female Kenyan athletes going to Budapest is as follows:

800m – Mary Moraa, Peninah Mutsiya, Vivian Chebet, Naomi Korir

1500m – Faith Kiyegon, Nelly Chepchirchir, Vivian Chebet, Naomi Korir

3000m Steeplechase – Jackline Chepkoech, Faith Cherotich, Beatrice Chepkoech

5000m – Beatrice Chebet, Faith Kipyegon, Lilian Kasait, Margaret Chelimo

10000m – Irine Kimais, Agnes Ngetich, Grace Loibach

4x400m – Mercy Oketch, Maureen Thomas, Millicent Ndoro

20km Race Walk – Emily Ngii

Marathon – Rosemary Wanjiru, Selly Kaptich, Shyline Toroitch, Betty Chepkwony, Margaret Muriuki

Kenyan Male Athetes

Leading the charge for Kenya’s male athletes will be one of the world’s fastest men. Ferdinand Omanyala has well and truly done away with the stereotype that Kenyans only excel over the longer distances, so much so that his record time is only 0.01 slower than the two fastest competitors due to be in attendance at these championships. A two-time African champion, the 27-year-old Omanyala goes to Budapest off the back of winning gold at the Commonwealth Games last year. Can he now do it on the world stage?

Emmanuel Wanyonyi is an early favourite for the 800m. Another teenager in the Kenyan ranks, Wanyonyi looked a star in the making when winning gold at the Under-20 World Championships in 2021, while earlier this year he took gold in the World Cross Country Championships. Worthy of his place on the world stage, the youngster could make a splash in Budapest, that’s for sure.

Here is the full list of male Kenyan athletes due to perform at the 2023 World Championships:

100m – Ferdinand Omanyala

400m – Boniface Mwersea

400m Hurdles – Wiseman Were

800m – Emmanuel Korir, Emmanuel Wanyonyi, Kipng’etich Ngeno, Ferguson Rotich

1500m – Timothy Cheruiyot, Abel Kipsang, Reynold Cheruiyot

3000m Steeplechase – Abraham Kibiwott, Leonard Bett, Simon Koech

5000m – Nicholas Kibiwott, Leonard Bett, Simon Koech

10000m – Nicholas Kimeli, Bernard Kibet, Kibiwott Kandie

4x400m – Wycliffe Kinyamal, Kennedy Muthoki, Zablon Ekwam, Kelvin Tauta

20km Race Walk – Samuel Gathimba

Javelin – Julius Yego

Marathon – Titus Kipruto, Timothy Kiplagat, Joshua Belet, Bethwel Kipchumba, Michael Githae

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