The 2015 African Games medallists Alice Aprot and Eunice Kadogo have thrown down the gauntlet ahead of the 2019 African Games trials that start Thursday at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.
The African Games are scheduled to be held from August 23 to September 3 in Casablanca, Morocco, and Kenya Prisons officer Aprot, who is yet to fully recover from a nagging groin injury, has warned that nothing will derail her quest for a place in Team Kenya’s 10,000 metres squad in the three-day trials that start on Friday.
“I know it will not be easy but I am ready for the event. I want to see how my body will respond,” said Aprot, 26, who has been training in Eldoret with Golazo management.
Aprot will face a field that also features Commonwealth Games 10,000m silver medallist Stacy Ndiwa (National Police Service. She won women’s 10,000m title and followed it up with 5,000m bronze medal during the 2015 Africa Games held in Brazzaville, Congo.
At the same championship, Kadogo finished second in a national record time of 11.47 seconds in women’s 100m race to claim silver, losing the battle to 2017 World 100m and 200m silver medallist Marie-Josée Ta Lou from Cote dÍvore.
Kadogo’s record stood until her National Police Service compatriot Maximilla Imali smashed it on June 14, last year, clocking a new time of 11.38 seconds.
After claiming silver in Brazzaville, Kadogo, 26, said she is focused on clinching the top podium place.
“I have done what is required of me in training hence I leave the rest to God,” said Kadogo. “I am focused on winning both the trials, and in Morocco.”
Kadogo explained that her ultimate dream is to attain the qualifying times in 100m and 200m for the Doha World Championships to be held from September 28 to October 6 in Qatar, and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
The qualifying standards are 11.24 seconds for 100m race and 23.02 seconds for 200m.
Kadogo, who was in Kenya’s 4x200m team for the World Relay Championships in Yokohama in May, will face the likes of Imali, Joan Cherono, Millicent Ndoro, Damaris Akoth, Freshia Mwangi among others in both 100m and 200m.
Meanwhile, Athletics Kenya has implored top athletes not to skip the national trials, saying the African Games are equally important.
AK director in charge of competitions, Paul Mutwii, indicated that any athlete who has been convicted of any doping offence will not take part in the trials.
At the same time, Mutwii has said that athletes who have been affected by the new hyperandrogenism rule that restricts testosterone levels in female runners, will only take part in the required events
Africa 5,000m champion Edward Zakayo, USA-based 800m athletes Emmanuel Korir and Michael Saruni as well as African Games 5,000m champion Margaret Chelimo are among athletes that have withdrawn from the trials.
Most of the athletes who pulled out of the trials want to preserve their energies for the Kenyan trials in August ahead of the World Championships.
Zakayo, who is also the World Under-20 5,000m champion, said despite having taken part in two Diamond League events in Rome and Rabat, he will not have fully recovered to compete in the energy-sapping national trials.