Mary Keitany
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Kenya omits fastest active men’s, women’s marathoners from Olympic team

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Kenya named its six-person Olympic marathon team on Tuesday. It includes neither the men’s world-record holder nor the second-fastest woman of all time.

The team, according to its Twitter account:

Eliud Kipchoge — Berlin, London winner
Stanley Biwott — New York winner
Wesley Korir — top Kenyan at Boston (fourth)

Jemima Sumgong — London winner
Visiline Jepkesho — Paris winner
Helah Kiprop — Tokyo winner

Missing from the men’s team is world-record holder Dennis Kimetto, as reported last week to little surprise.

Tuesday’s revelation was that the women’s team does not include Mary Keitany, the 2014 and 2015 New York City Marathon winner and second-fastest woman of all time. Only the retired Paula Radcliffe has bettered Keitany’s 2:18:37 from the 2012 London Marathon.

Keitany won the 2014 and 2015 New York City Marathons but struggled in her last 26.2-mile race, finishing ninth in London on April 24. She also finished fourth at the London Games.

Instead, the roster includes Jepkesho, whose only major marathon was a 20th-place finish at the 2015 World Championships. Jepkesho, 28, won the Paris Marathon in 2:25:53 on April 3.

Kiprop won the World Championships silver medal last year and the Tokyo Marathon in 2:21:27 on Feb. 28, a personal-best time.

Keitany and Chicago Marathon winner Florence Kiplagat were on a reported preliminary roster last week but were relegated to reserves in Tuesday’s announcement.

For the second straight Olympics, all of Kenya’s runners will be making their Olympic marathon debut. Kipchoge earned 5000m bronze in 2004 and silver in 2008.

In 2012, Kenya’s Olympic team did not include Patrick Makau, then the world-record holder, or Geoffrey Mutai, who then had the fastest 26.2-mile time ever (but on a course that wasn’t record eligible).

MORE: Boston Marathon winners not assured Olympic spots

Eliud Kipchoge sets next marathon

Eliud Kipchoge
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Eliud Kipchoge will race the London Marathon on April 26 before he is expected to defend his Olympic title in Japan on Aug. 9, which would mark the shortest break between marathons of his career.

Kipchoge, who in his last 26.2-mile effort became the first person to break two hours at the distance, won all four of his London Marathon starts, including breaking the course record in 2016 and 2019.

His time this past April 28 — 2:02:37 — is the third-fastest time in history. Kipchoge has the world record of 2:01:39 set at the 2018 Berlin Marathon. His sub-two-hour marathon in Vienna on Oct. 12 was not in a record-eligible race.

Kipchoge’s previous shortest break between marathons came in 2016, when he also ran London and the Olympics. The Olympics will be two weeks earlier in 2020 than in 2016.

Kipchoge, 35, has won 11 of 12 marathons since moving to road racing after failing to make Kenya’s 2012 Olympic track team.

He has yet to race the two most prestigious marathons in the U.S. — Boston and New York City — but has said they are on his bucket list.

MORE: Eliud Kipchoge opines on shoe technology debate

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Canadians become first female doubles luge team in World Cup

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WHISTLER, British Columbia (AP) — Caitlin Nash and Natalie Corless made luge history Saturday, becoming the first female team to compete in a World Cup doubles race.

The 16-year-olds from Whistler combined to finish 22nd in a field of 23 sleds, though that seemed largely irrelevant. There have been four-woman teams in what is typically called four-man bobsledding, but luge has never seen a pairing like this until now.

The German sled of Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken won the race in 1 minute, 16.644 seconds. Germany’s Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt finished second and the Russian team of Vsevolod Kashkin and Konstantin Korshunov placed third for their first medal of the season.

The U.S. team of Chris Mazdzer and Jayson Terdiman placed 11th.

But the story was the Canadian teens, who qualified for the World Cup event on Thursday. They were nearly a half-second behind any other finisher and almost 2.7 seconds back of Eggert and Benecken. But they’ll forever be able to say that they were winning the race at one point — a technicality because they were the first ones down the hill at the Whistler Sliding Center, but accurate nonetheless.

The only sled they beat was the Italian team of Ivan Nagler and Fabian Malleier, who crashed in the second heat.

There are women’s singles and men’s singles races on the World Cup luge circuit, but there is no rule saying doubles teams must be composed of two men. There have been more female doubles racers at the junior level in recent years, and it was generally considered to be just a matter of time before it happened at the World Cup level.

That time became Saturday.

Canada had the chance to qualify a second sled into the doubles field because some teams typically on the circuit chose to skip this weekend’s stop, and Nash and Corless got into by successfully finishing a Nations Cup qualifying race on Thursday.

They were 11th in that race out of 11 sleds, more than a full second behind the winner and nearly a half-second behind the closest finisher. But all they had to do was cross the line without crashing to get into Saturday’s competition, and earned their spot in the luge history books as a result.

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