Kibet, Simiyu dropped as Worlds team jet to Doha

Michael Kibet and Daniel Simiyu will not travel for the upcoming World Championships as the first batch of team Kenya departs for Doha, Qatar on Monday.

Titus Kioi Muruga, who hails from Gatundu South, vividly recalls the phone call that forced him to park along Mombasa road.

Muruga, was informed that he had won Sh469,899 after placing an 8-team multibet using a Ksh1,000 stake.

Overwhelmed with emotions, the clearing and forwarding agent in Nairobi, parked his vehicle as he tried to come to terms with the news.

Addressing the press moments after being awarded the cheque at OdiBets head offices, Titus stated that he planned to keep the money for at least three months as he figures how to invest it.

“I received the call when I was along Mombasa road and everything in me started shaking. I was forced to park my car for a while, I could not drive, I was so overwhelmed, ” said Muruga.

He had been driving to the airport to clear some cargo when he was called to be informed of the win.

“Thank you so much to OdiBets for this win. I will continue betting as I hope to win millions,” mentioned an elated Muruga.

Kibet and Simiyu finished first and second respectively in the 5,000m national trials to seal slots in Team Kenya but had to wait on the side-lines to know their fate, as they had not met the anti-doping requirements by IAAF.

Regrettably, Kenya will now send two athletes for the race, Nicholas Kimeli and Jacob Krop who finished third and fourth respectively in the trials.

Kibet clocked 13:26.83 ahead of Simiyu (13:27.95 ) with  Kimeli  coming third in 13:27.99 in trials, the former standing the favourite in the hunt of a gold medal Kenya last won during the 2005 event through Benjamin Limo.

With Kenya still in the IAAF watch list, the stringent anti-doping rules set by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) requires an athlete to have undergone at least three mandatory out-of-competition tests prior to the championships.

With the duo yet to fulfill the set conditions (three tests), Athletics Kenya had contacted IAAF if they could allow them to compete in Doha.

According to AK Vice President in charge of competitions Paul Mutwii, Kibet and Simuyu have been left out of the team since IAAF has not responded to their request.

“The two athletes are not travelling because we did not receive any feedback from IAAF in our request to have them compete, without complying with the anti-doping regulations. Since they haven’t responded we cannot risk taking them with us and they won’t compete,” said Mutwii.

The two, together with Nicholas Kimeli and Jacob Krop who placed third and fourth respectively in the trials, had been included in the provisional entry list by IAAF with Krop acting as a reserve.

“We have three slots in the event and we had included the fourth athlete (Krop) as a reserve pending the response from IAAF,” Mutwii had earlier told Citizen Digital after the trials.

AK had revealed that the two athletes had not fulfilled the AIU conditions in that they were not in the pool of probables under the radar of Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK).

The teams that depart tonight includes, the women marathon, men’s 5000m, 3000m steeplechase men and women, 400m men and women and 800m men and women. The second batch of athletes travels tomorrow evening.

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Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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