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Stars pull out of Kenyan trials

Nairobi: Olympic and world 3,000m steeplechase champion Reuben Kosgei became the second athlete in as many weeks to withdraw from the Kenyan world championships trials to be held on Friday and Saturday.

Speaking over phone from his Eldoret home on Monday, Kosgei said he has an Achilles problem that has nagged him since his last race in Hengelo, The Netherlands, on May 29, where he finished second to compatriot Paul Koech.

“This injury has virtually ruled me out of major meetings this season. Maybe I will run a few Grand Prix races after the world championships but that will depend on the state of the injury,” Kosgei said.

“I can’t run at the trials because of it (the injury). Athletics Kenya has insisted that even defending champions must run at the trials to be included in the team, which is as good as slamming the door on me.

“I cannot make it this week. If they allow me into the team through the wild card system, I can try hard to peak within the four weeks remaining. But running at the trials to get selected is totally out of the question,” added the 24-year-old.

World half-marathon champion Paul Kosgei said last week that a calf injury meant he would not take part in the trials at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, some 15 km north of the capital.

Athletics Kenya will on Saturday name the team to represent the east African nation, known globally for its distance runners, at the worlds in Paris from August 23 to 31.

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