Athletics Kenya have named World Under 20 champion Rhonex Kipruto as Geoffrey Kamworor’s replacement in Kenya’s 10,000 metres team for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Kipruto replaces the 2015 world 10,000m silver medallist Kamworor who pulled out of the team due to an injury a few days ago.
Team Kenya’s General Team Manager Barnaba Korir said Kipruto has officially joined the team after clearance from World Athletics.
“We are pleased to announce that Rhonex Kipruto is the latest inclusion to our athletics team for the Tokyo Olympics.
He has already reported at Kasarani Stadium where the remaining part of team Kenya are in residential training in a bubble camp.
The decision was arrived at after AK sought clearance from the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) on his anti-doping testing status, which I am pleased to say he has been given the green light.” Korir said via his official Facebook page.
Kipruto now joins the 2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Rodgers Kwemoi and youngster Weldon Kipkirui, with the duo having already arrived in Tokyo.
The trio will be chasing Kenya’s first gold at the Summer Games since 1968 with the finals set for Friday.
Kamworor, who sustained an ankle injury in training this week, was a big medal prospect in the team that also has national cross country champion Rodgers Kwemoi and Weldon Kipkirui.
“I’m really sorry for my good friend Kamworor and I want to wish him quick recovery so that he can continue with his career. On my part I’m delighted becaue I will be able to represent my country once again and we will work hard to win something good for our country,” Kipruto told Nation Sports.
Kipruto is currently the fastest man in 10km on the road having clocked world record time of 26:24 after lowering Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei’s time of 26:38 in Valencia, Spain in 2020.
The two will clash again when they line up for the 10,000m final on Friday after Cheptegei floored Kipruto during the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar winning gold ahead of Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha who took silver with KIpruto settling for bronze.
The 10,000 metres men Olympic gold, has proved elusive since 1968 when Naftali Temu last won the race in Mexico.