By Isaack Omulo
NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya’s world record holders Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei will lead a star-studded marathon team to the Tokyo Olympic Games this year, Kenya’s athletics chiefs said on Friday.
Multiple world champion and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic 5,000m gold medalist and 10,000m silver medalist, Vivian Cheruiyot and reigning world marathon champion Ruth Chemngetich will also represent the east African nation.
Valary Ayabei and Sally Chepyego are reserves, Athletics Kenya (AK) said at a news conference in the capital.
Kenya is renowned for its middle and long distance running prowess, but has been beset by a spate of doping cases for the past six years.
The other top names in the men’s team are last year’s Boston Marathon winner Lawrence Cherono, world marathon medalist Amos Kipruto, with Titus Ekiru and Bedan Karoki as reserves.
AK will name the rest of the team after trials in June in Eldoret, Kenya’s distance running heartland some 350km north west of capital Nairobi.
Olympic champion Kipchoge, 35, holds the official world marathon record of 2:01:39, which he set in Berlin on Sept. 16, 2018.
Kosgei won Chicago Marathon in 2018 and 2019, where she ran a world record time of 2:14:04 last year. She also won the London Marathon in 2019.
Cheruiyot, 36, has participated in four previous Olympics, making her Games debut in 2000 in Sydney where she reached the final of the 5,000 meters.
At the London 2012 Games, she won silver in 5,000m and bronze in the 10,000m, before reaching the top of the podium in Rio four years ago, winning gold in the 5,000m.
(Reporting by Isaack Omulo; Editing by Toby Davis)