World Half Marathon silver medallists Kibiwott Kandie and Bedan Karoki will miss the Athletics Kenya Tokyo Olympic trials that start Thursday at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.
Kandie, who claimed the world half marathon silver medal in 2020 Gdynia and Karoki, who won it in 2016 Cardiff, had hoped to not only get the tickets, but also the qualifying standards in 10,000m.
However, a right knee injury has locked out Kandie, the world half marathon record holder, while Karoki, who is based in Japan, is nursing a recurring hamstring.
It would have been Kandie’s maiden appearance at the Olympics if he succeeded, while Karoki was hoping for his third appearance after finishing fourth in 2012 London and seventh in 2016 Rio in 10,000m.
The 30-year-old Karoki had initially been named as a reserve in the marathon team for the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics.
They now leave the 10,000m battle to World 10,000m bronze medallist Rhonex Kipruto, 2015 World 10,00m silver medallist Geffrey Kamworor and national cross country champion Rogers Kwemoi among others.
Ten out of the 28 athletes, who have been invited in the 10,000m, have attained the Olympic qualifying standards. The race will go down on Friday at 11.15am.
“I know most Kenyans were hoping to see me at the trials after I had promised them,” Kandie said.
“I know I will disappoint them but that is the situation.”
Kandie said doctors have given him another month of full recovery, having missed the Kenya Defence Forces Athletics Championships held May 17-19 this year.
“It was my prayer to have fully recovered by the time the trials are held but it has not happened…It has really stressed me big time but I have to accept it,” explained Kandie.
“Tokyo Olympics was my biggest target this year but God knows best.”
After his recovery, Kandie hopes to run a few races before turning his focus on next year’s World Cross Country Championships due February 19 in Bathurst, Australia and the World Athletics Championships programmed from July 15 to 24 in Eugene, Oregon, United States.
There will also be the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games running from July 28 to August 8 in the British city.
“2024 Paris Olympics is just around the corner but we can only hope and pray for the best from God,” said the 24-year-old Kandie.
“I sustained a serious hamstring injury that forced me to stop training but I am recovering now ready to hit the road soon,” said Karoki, who also hopes to be back for next year’s World Championships.
“With no chance of making the final marathon team, I was fully focused on making the 10,000m team. I will still take a shot in marathon or 10,000m for next year’s world event,” said Karoki.
Karoki finished sixth in the 10,000m at the 2013 World championships and fourth at the 2015 and 2017 World Championships respectively.