Jorum Okombo Lumbasi will, for the first time represent Kenya at this year’s IAAF World Half Marathon championships set for 24th March in Valencia, Spain.
Lumbasi, the two time Eldoret Family Bank half marathon champion will join two time world half marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor in men’s category as world Half marathon record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei leads women’s race in hunt for the world title that has been dominated by Kenyans.
Lumbasi who finished second at the 2017 Copenhagen half marathon, has been dominating in local road races got an opportunity when Paul Mutwii, the Athletics Kenya senior vice president in charge of competitions named the 2017 squad that consists of six men and six women.
Reigning New York City marathon champion Kamworor, a man of all surfaces is the most experienced athlete who will be battling out with World half marathon silver medalist Bedan Karoki, Lumbasi, former Africa Cross Country champion Leonard Barsoton and Barselius Kipyego who won the Usti Nad Labem Half marathon as Kenya Defence Forces runner Alex Oloitiptip will be as a reserve.
Kamworor will be seeking his third title after he launched the win at the 2014 Copenhagen championships and defended his title in 2016 in Cardiff, United Kingdom.
Jepkosgei, who broke six world records in six months, twice in half marathons in 2017 will lead compatriots Mary wacera, the silver medalist in Copenhagen and Cardiff worlds respectively.
The Iten based runner returns to Valencia course where she broke the world half marathon 64:51 after she lowered her own time with a second (64:52) at Prague half marathon.
It will be another fight between Jepkosgei and Fancy Chemutai as both faced off in Valencia last year as well as Istanbul half marathon champion Ruth Chepng’etich and Pauline Kaveke.
2016 winner Peres Jepchirchir will not be defending her title as she in sabbatical leave where she led a podium sweep followed by Cynthia Jerotich.
World half marathon team
Geoffrey Kamworor, Bedan Karoki, Jorum Okombo, Leonard Barsaton, Barselius Kipyego, Alex Oloitiptip (Reserve)
Joyciline Jepkosgei, Fancy Chemutai, Ruth Chpeng’etich, Pauline Kaveke, Mary Wacera, Joan Chelimo (Reserve)