Kenya team for Bahamas relays hit by withdrawals

Sat Apr 25, 2015 10:51am EDT
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NAIROBI (Reuters) - High-profile withdrawals have hit Kenya's team a week before the second IAAF world relay championships in Nassau, Bahamas, officials said on Saturday.

Ronald Kwemoi, a 1,500 meters specialist, pulled out after twice world 1,500m and former Olympic champion Asbel Kiprop said he was injured and could not return to the Atlantic archipelago where he set a world relay record last year.

“Kwemoi has said he won’t be coming to Bahamas and did not give any reason. Timothy Cheruiyot has replaced him,” head coach Sammy Rono told reporters at the team’s training camp in the east Africa’s capital city’s outskirts.

Both Kwemoi and Kiprop had been named in the medley relay team (1,200m, 400m, 800m and 1,600m).

"We have a strong squad in the medley. One person's withdrawal cannot derail a team. Furthermore it's already too late to pick another athletes. We will do with Ferguson Rotich, Abednego Chesebe, Timothy Cheruiyot and Joseph Porghisio," Rono said.

Kiprop moved to end talk that he was protesting against the suspension of his Italian manager Federico Rosa.

“I was injured and even the doctor certified it. People can say what they like, but the truth of the matter is that I have an injury and I don’t want to compromise the team’s performance,” Kiprop told Reuters on Saturday.

(Writing by George Obulutsa, editing by Ed Osmond)

Ronald Kwemoi of Kenya reacts as he crosses the finish line in the men's 1500m race during the Lausanne Diamond League meeting at the Stade de la Pontaise in Lausanne July 3, 2014.    REUTERS/Pierre Albouy