Commonwealth 2022: Eric Kiptanui Speaks After Being Left Out of Marathon Lineup

  • A photo of Kenyan long-distance runner Eric Kiptanui in the UK during the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
    A photo of Kenyan long-distance runner Eric Kiptanui in the UK during the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
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  • Kenyan Athlete, Eric Kiptanui is demanding answers from the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) after he missed out on the starting line-up of the men's marathon list in the ongoing Commonwealth Games held in Birmingham, United Kingdom. 

    Kiptanui's name was conspicuously missing from the Marathon list, with the name Eric Kiplagat Sang in his place.

    Surprisingly, Sang was not in Birmingham for the event, revealing an error from the Committee that is tasked with placing the names. 

    An athlete celebrates with a Kenyan flag after winning a race
    An athlete celebrates with a Kenyan flag after winning a race.
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    The highly-anticipated event saw two Kenyans represent the country in the race. Uganda's Victor Kiplangat however, scooped the gold medal in 2:10:56, followed by Tanzania's Alphonce Simbu. Kenya's Michael Githae took the bronze medal in 2:13:16.

    Kiptanui was forced to sit on the sidelines as his counterparts dashed alongside other competitors. 

    “This is painful, it’s simply bad. Nothing can really explain how I felt when the gun went off to start the race with only two Kenyans in the pack... I think one needs to explain to me how my name wasn’t entered correctly,” he stated.

    Kiptanui, who had arrived in Birmingham in preparation for the marathon event, faulted the committee for failing to verify and ensure all the names are correctly entered into the system. 

    The teary-eyed athlete noted that he could have easily defeated his opponents and won the race were it not for the blunder. 

    "What makes me angry is that people ignore everything. People must take their work seriously. This is a race I could have won easily since I had no injuries," he stated. 

    The 32-year-old feared that his name may have been featured in the doping list after four Kenyans were ruled out for violation of the anti-doping rules.

    According to the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), athletes' names could be replaced on three occasions; pandemic, doping and medical reasons. 

    Prior to the Commonwealth Games, Kenya's Philemon Kacheran was flagged for doping and replaced by Githae who was initially on the reserved list. 

    Kenyan Athletes Pose For A Photo With President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House on August 16, 2021.
    Kenyan Athletes Pose For a Photo With President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House on August 16, 2021.
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