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Beaten Rudisha named in Kenya Olympic team

Athletics - Rio 2016 Olympic Games - Men's 800 meter trials - Eldoret, Kenya - 1/7/16 - David Rudisha reacts. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya
Athletics - Rio 2016 Olympic Games - Men's 800 meter trials - Eldoret, Kenya - 1/7/16 - David Rudisha reacts. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

By Isaack Omulo

ELDORET (Reuters) - Olympic and world 800m champion David Rudisha scraped into the Kenyan team for the Rio Olympics after finishing third in the east African nation’s trials on Friday.

Rudisha, enduring a poor season, was passed on the final bend by youngster Ferguson Rotich and surprise winner Alfred Kipketer.

Rudisha, also the world record holder, finished third in 1:44.23 after getting boxed in. Kipketer's time was 1:43.73 and Rotich ran 1:44.05.

“My plan was to run from behind but I was caught on the back stretch and boxed in," Rudisha told reporters. "I was only able to come up in the last 150 metres and kicked to make the team.”

Rudisha has had a poor season by his standards after winning the world title last year.

“To make the team was the most important thing today," he said. "More so, after the semi-final race took a lot of energy from me yesterday. I have nothing to complain about.

“I feel that my body is coming back pretty nicely and I am in better form than last year. I am focused and determined to defend my title,”

World half-marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor and Bedan Karoki were named in the Olympic team at 10,000 metres despite both failing to finish the race at the trials. Kamworor had a stomach upset and Karoki was injured.

Paul Tanui won the race ahead of Charles Yossei and both were named in the team for Rio.

World 400 metres hurdles champion Nicholas Bett, who did not run in the trials, was also named in the Games team along with African champion Boniface Mucheru.

The second and final day of the trials produced other upsets.

Former world 800m champion Eunice Sum was beaten into second place by Margaret Nyairera to second place with the winner timing 1:58.27 and Sum 1:59.63.

Defending Olympic 3,000 metres steeplechase champion Ezekiel Kemboi toyed with the field, deliberately slowing down as he approached the finish line and allowing 2008 Olympic champion Brimin Kipruto and Conseslus Kipruto to pass him.

World javelin champion Julius Yego produced a throw of 81.04 metres to win the event.

Kenyan Olympic athletics team:

WOMEN:

400 metres hurdles: Maureen Jelagat

400 metres: Margaret Nyairera, Maureen Jelagat

800 metres: Margeret Nyairera, Eunice Sum, Winnie Chebet

1,500 metres: Faith Chemngetich, Nancy Chepkwemoi, Viola Cheptoo Lagat

3,000M steeplechase: Hyvin Kiyeng, Beatrice Chepkoech, Lydia Rotich Chebet

5,000 metres: Vivian Jepkemei Cheruiyot, Hellen Obiri, Mercy Cherono

10,000 metres: Vivian Jepkemei Cheruiyot, Betsy Saina, Alice Aprot

Marathon: Jemima Sumgong, Visline Jepkesho, Hellah Kiprop.

20 kilometres walk: Grace Wanjiru.

MEN

200 metres: Kevin Nkanata, Mike Mokamba

400 metres Hurdles: Nicholas Bett, Boniface Mucheru, Aron Koech

400 metres: Alphas Kishoyan, Raymond Kibet, Alex Sampao, Boniface Mweresa

800 metres: Alfred Kipketer, Ferguson Rotich, David Rudisha

1,500m: Asbel Kiprop, Elijah Manangoi, Ronald Kwemoi

3,000m steeplechase: Brimin Kipruto, Conseslus Kipruto, Ezekiel Kemboi

5,000m: Caleb Ndiku Mwangangi, Isaiah Kiplangat

10,000m: Paul Tanui, Charles Yossei, Bedan Karoki, Geoffrey Kamworor

Marathon: Eliud Kipchoge, Stanley Biwott, Wesley Korir

Javelin: Julius Yego

20 kilometres walk: Samuel Gathimba, Simon Wachira

High Jump: Mathew Sawe.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

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