Off-form Mutai, out-of –favour Mureta dropped from Kenya’s relay team

Jul 04, 2012
  • Anderson Mureta(extreme right) and Mark Mutai(Second right)have been left out of Kenya's 4 x 400m relay team.(Photo:File)

Athletics Kenya has included youngsters Alphonse Kishoiyan, Anthony Mweresa in place of Mark Mutai and Anderson Mureta in Kenya’s 4x 400m-relay team for the London Olympics Games.

Mweresa (46.00) and World Youth silver medallist Kishoiyan(45.64),Vincent Mumo sixth(46.13), Hurdlers Benson Mucheru(49.45), the Africa Bronze medallist and Vincent Kosgei(50.31) made the relay shortlist which is expected to be anchored by World record holder David Rudisha, if the Kenyan team makes the final in London.

Kenya goes into the games ranked 11th of the 16 qualified teams for London topped by the USA, followed by African silver medalist South Africa. 

Mumo was the only Kenyan to make the final in the 400m final in Benin where he finished fifth in the race won by Bostwana’s Isaac Makwala.

“I was hoping to hit the Olympic qualifying mark here but am glad I have managed to improve my season’s best,"said Mumo.

Mweresa and Kishoiyan are in the junior team that will hunt for medals at the World junior championships from July 10, in Barcelona.

Mucheru and Kosgei made the finals of the 400m Hurdles at the Charles De Galle Stadium in Porto Novo.They both raced in the relay team together with Mumo and Mutai last week.

Mucheru fourth at the 2010 world junior, survived a fall which knocked out Mozambican Kurt Cuoto engaging gold medallist Nigerian Morton Amechi and Senegalese Mamadou Kasse in an energetic sprint for the finish line to settle for bronze.

Mutai the Commonwealth Games champion, who anchored the team to their Gold medal at the 2010 African championships and the silver in Delhi,has struggled for form this season.

He failed to qualify automatically for the last week’s African championships in Benin after a seventh place finish at the Kenyan trials.

“This year am yet to regain my form, but that’s how athletics is sometime you are up, sometimes you are down,” said Mutai who captained the Kenyan team to Benin, after he failed the final of the 400m ranking fifth in 47.35 in the semi finals.

Mureta who was part of the Kenyan team of 45 track and field athletes in Benin did not have a chance to race in Benin after a false start in the 400m and was excluded in the relay team that was relegated to Bronze in the final.

“The technical team had a meeting and felt Mureta did not deserve a place in the relay team. He has not been training here and there is also a feeling that his false start was intentional to cover for his off form,” one of the Kenyan coaches who accompanied the team to Benin told sportsnewsarena.com.

Meanwhile, the first batch of 24 which included two boxers and one weightlifter and officials left the country, Tuesday evening for Kenya’s pre-olympic camp at the Bristol Sports Academy in the UK.

 

 Evelyn Watta

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