Kenya’s 800 metres Olympic champion and world record holder David Rudisha and two-time Olympic 1500-metre champion Asbel Kiprop will not seek selection for this year’s Commonwealth Games, team officials said Tuesday.
A total of 170 athletes have been invited for the one-day Kenyan trials in Nairobi on Saturday, during which the first three runners across the line will earn automatic qualification for the April 4-15 championships on Australia’s Gold Coast. But with the Commonwealth Games coming at an unusual time in the track season, before the summer, athletes have been forced to chose between the event or continuing their preparations for the outdoor track season.
Kenyan team officials said both Rudisha and Kiprop have opted to focus on the season of lucrative Diamond League meetings which starts in Doha in May.
Others notable absentees include the world 10,000-metre silver medallist Geoffrey Kamworor, who is preparing to defend his world half marathon title in Valencia on March 24, while the women’s Olympic and world 1500-metre champion Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon is expecting her first baby.
The women’s world half marathon defending champion, Peres Jepchirchir is also on maternity leave, but former women’s 800-metre champion Janeth Jepkosgei will make her return after the birth of her first child.
Kenya topped the medal table in athletics at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow with ten gold medals, ten silver and five bronze.