Olympic champion handed Commonwealth wildcard

NAIROBI, (Xinhua) — Athletics Kenya (AK) handed Olympic and world steeplechase champion, Conseslus Kipruto, the wildcard on Saturday to compete at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

Kipruto who won the men water and barriers race at Rio 2016 Olympics and London 2017 worlds was taken ill on Friday and was advised by doctors to skip competition.

“Shortly after arriving in Nairobi, I started feeling unwell and doctors advised me not to run today (Saturday).

“I wanted to compete and make it to the squad for Australia but after becoming sick, I requested AK for the wildcard,” the former World U-18 champion stated.

Kipruto, 23, added the world title to his Olympics crown last year after battling an injury plagued season to sustain Kenya’s dominance at the event.

At the same time, silver winner, Timothy Cheruiyot trumped world champion, Elijah Manangoi in the men 1500m on Saturday as the pair made the Kenyan team for the Club Games on Saturday.

Cheruiyot who is a training partner to Manangoi stopped the clock at 3:34.1 at the punishing elevation of Nairobi for victory with the world champion coming home in 3:35.1.

Former world under 20 titleholder, Kumari Taki (3:35.5) finished third to deny Manangoi’ s younger brother and world under 18 champion, George a ticket to the Gold Coast by the thickness of a vest in a thrilling battle for the line. Enditem