Emmanuel Mutai, last year's London marathon winner, has been drafted into the three-man Kenyan team to the London Olympics. Mutai joins Abel Kirui and Wilson Kipsang after the withdrawal of Moses Mosop who is nursing a tendon injury sustained in training. Athletics Kenya chairman Isaiah Kiplagat said Mutai was the perfect Mosop replacement as he had earlier been drafted as a reserve. "We have received a letter from Mosop and his doctor indicating he will not be available due to injury," Kiplagat said, adding "Mutai was among the six athletes named earlier, before we drafted our final list of three."
The AK supremo said world record holder Patrick Makau and Boston marathon winner Geoffrey Mutai were not considered as reports on the circumstances surrounding their withdrawal from the London Marathon earlier in the year were yet to be received. Following Mutai's call up, the reserve position will now be taken by Paris marathon winner Stanley Biwott. Apart from a course record performance of 2:04:40 in London last year, Mutai has also recorded great performances since breaking into the world majors in 2006.
Included in the races he won are the 2006 Nice half marathon (1:01:24), 2007 Lisbon half marathon (1:01:54), 2007 Amsterdam marathon (2:06:29) and 2008 Glasgow half marathon (1:01:10). He finished fourth at the 2009 London Mmarathon (2:06:53), and was a silver medalist at the 2009 Berlin world athletics championship (2:07:48) behind current champion Abel Kirui. He also boasts of a second place finish in the 2010 London Marathon (2:06:23) and a similar feat at the 2010 New York Marathon (2:09:18).
Kiplagat also said Florence Kiplagat is now the reserve in the women's marathon team despite her ambitions to run in the 10,000m at the London Games. "Florence will be included as a reserve for the women's marathon team but this will only be if she does not qualify for the 10, 000m race," Kiplagat said. The AK boss also indicated the technical bench were opposed to the month long training stint at Bristol University arranged earlier. "They (technical team) have said it will not be helpful to have athletes train at sea level since this will destroy the gains acquired from high altitude training," Kiplagat said. "If a 3,000m steeplechase and 5,000m runner trains at sea level for a month they will be as good as finished. We just hope reason will prevail," he said. The AK will advice the National Olympics Committee of Kenya accordingly, Kiplagat said.