NAIROBI (AFP) – Kenya's former Olympic 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop and compatriots Silas Kiplagat and Nixon Chepseba flopped when favourites to sweep the medals at the London Olympics and now want to make amends at the world championships in Moscow.
The trio who held the fastest times in the world disappointed badly at the 2012 Games, with Kiprop, who is also the reigning world champion, finishing last in the final and Kiplagat and Chepseba trailing home seventh and 11th respectively.
The athletes have a chance to atone for those reverses after they booked their tickets for Moscow at the Kenya national trials at the Nyayo National stadium on Saturday.
Kiplagat, the reigning world silver medallist, came home first in 3:33.70 in a blanket finish with Kiprop (3:33.80) second and Chepseba taking third spot in 3:33.9.
"I am very happy that the team that was at the Olympics last year are the same guys going for the world championships," said Kiplagat, after celebrating his victory in unison with his team-mates.
"Last week we sat together in Eldoret and we talked the three of us. We planned to make the team so that we can go to Moscow and redeem ourselves. Now we will go to the world championships as one team and not repeat the same mistakes we did in London."
Olympic 800m bronze medallist Timothy Kitum finished sixth and out of contention after being blown away by a pair of youngsters led by Anthony Chemut, who could manage to reach the semi-finals of the London Olympics.
The 20-year-old won the race in a slow time of 1:44.33, ahead of two newcomers Ferguson Rotich (1:44.38) and Jeremia Mutai (1:44.59) third.
Eunice Sum beat her training partner and the 2007 world champion Janeth Jepkosgei to claim the women's title in 1:59.30 and book her place in the world championship. Jepkosgei finished second in 1:59.70.
"Sum is a young and upcoming athlete. Since she had not attained the qualifying time, she had to fight to make sure she get picked. She is my training partner and I could not have been happier to see her in the team," said Jepkosgei, who will be going for her fourth consecutive appearance in Moscow.
Fast-rising steeplechaser Conseslus Kipruto obliterated a strong field to capture the race in a fast time of 8:13.50, ahead of Abel Mutai and former Olympic and world champion Brimin Kipruto who took second and third positions.
Reigning world and Olympic champion Ezekiel Kemboi was sixth but named in the team along with the Diamond League winner, Paul Kipsiele Koech, who trailed home 12th and last.