4 March 2005

Kenya: Chepkemei Avoids Cross-Country Camp

Nairobi — Controversial Susan Chepkemei failed to report to camp yesterday as coaches prepared to pick the final squad team for the World Cross-Country Championship at St. Glamier, France.

According to the agreement with Athletics Kenya (AK) Chepkemei was supposed to report to the Embu camp yesterday and wait to know whether she would be included in the team or not.

However, Chepkemei said she would rather wait for the coaches to name her in the team before she proceeds to camp.

"It does not make sense for me to travel today (yesterday) to Kigari yet the team is being named tomorrow (today). I would rather wait for the verdict before I can join camp," she said.

But team manager, Peter Angwenyi said there was no way they are going to discuss somebody not in the camp. He said only those who are in camp stand to benefit.

Chepkemei, though emphasised that she was still keen on the World Cross-country Championship and reiterated that given a chance she would fly the country's flag high. "I am a professional and I know what I am talking about. It is not about being in camp.It is how fit I am and what I think I can do," she added.

She said if she is denied the chance to run in France, she would concentrate on her preparation for the London Marathon scheduled for April 17.

"It is very simple. If I am given a chance, I will try my best to ensure that I bring a medal home. If not I will have no choice but to concentrate on the London Marathon, where I intend to shake off Briton Paula Radcliffe's challenge," she said.

Chepkemei finished second to Radcliffe in last year's New York Marathon.

Athletics Kenya (AK) lifted a ban slapped on Chepkemei on Wednesday after she apologised for skipping camp to run in Puerto Rico.

Chepkemei, who arrived on Tuesday night from Puerto Rico, where she took part in a 10km race had been banned on Monday from taking part in all athletics events in the world for the remaining part of the season.

AK chairman Isaiah Kiplagat said Chepkemei was pardoned after she apologised. Chepkemei indicated that she had a contract with the organisers of the Puerto Rico race and there is no way she would have skipped the event.

Meanwhile, tension continued to mount at the Kigari camp as runners waited for the final squad today. According to officials, selection will be based on performance and consistence.

Full provisional squad: Men's 4km-Isaac Songok , Sammy Kipketer, Brimin Kipruto, Abraham Chebii, Henry Biwott, Shadrack Kosgei, Boniface Songok, Joseph Kosgei, John Kibowen and David Chepkwony; Junior men's 8-km - Augustine Choge, Barnabas Kosgei, Hosea Macharinyang, Ndiwa Mangata, Moses Masai, Ronald Kipchumba, Ernest Meli and John Kimondo; Senior men's 12km-Eliud Kipchoge, Moses Mosop, john Korir, Charles Kamathi (captain), Abraham Cherono, David Chepterit, Wilberforce Talel, Linus Chumba, William Chebon and Paul Kimugul.

Senior women's 4-km-Prisca Jepleting, Viola Kibiwott, Beatrice Chepchumba, Chebet Lagat, Lucy Kabuu, Beatrice Ruto, Nancy Wambui and Jane Gakunyi; Junior women's 6-km-Veronica Nyarwai, Jebichi Yator, Pauline Korkwang, Gladys Chemweno, Alphine Tuliamuk, Mercy Njoroge, Margaret Muriuki;

Senior women's 8km-Rose Chepchumba, Catherine Kirui, Susan Chepkemei, Irene Kwambai, Irene Lemika, Alice Timbilil, Doris Chegeiywa and Eunice Chepkorir.

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