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Can any team prevent another Kenyan romp in Rio?

Kenya on top of the road running world. Will it be business as usual in Rio? (Getty Images)Kenya on top of the road running world. Will it be business as usual in Rio? (Getty Images) © Copyright

MonteCarloKenyan teams have been the dominant force in global road running championships over recent years, and with two quality squads lined up for the IAAF / CAIXA World Half Marathon Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Sunday 12 October, can anyone prevent another brace of team titles being landed by the east African nation?

A total of 51 IAAF Member Federations have entered teams for next weekend's championships, and despite the Kenyans not having won an individual title at either the World Road Running Championships (2006 / 2007) or the World Half Marathon Championships (1992 – 2005) since 2004, their overall squad strength has usually prevailed over their opponents in the team context.

Despite Paul Kirui (2004) and Tegla Loroupe’s (1999) individual World titles being now but a distance memory in road racing history, Kenya as a team triumphed in both the men’s and women’s team categories in the two editions of the World Road Running Championships. Kenya squads have also taken eight men’s and four women’s team titles in the history of World Half Marathon.

Romania (2005 women), Ethiopia (2005 men, 2004 women), and Russia (2003 women) have been the three countries who most recently have upset Kenyan domination. The latter two nations will be in Rio with strong line-ups again and as usual there will be strong teams from Eritrea and Qatar, while Japan, Spain, Tanzania, Uganda, and hosts Brazil are just some of the other teams who will hope to be in the mix.

Scoring

A maximum of seven athletes can entered in each race, of whom no more than five will be allowed to start, with three to score.

Each race shall be scored separately. The team results will be decided by the aggregate of times recorded by the scoring athletes of each team. The team with the lowest aggregate of times will be judged the winner. If a team fails to finish with a complete scoring team, the runners finishing will be counted as individuals in the race result and be eligible for the individual awards. In the event of a tie, it will be resolved in favour of the team whose last scoring member finishes nearer to first place.

Chris Turner for the IAAF