Next month’s athletics trials will be used to pick teams for the inaugural Africa cross country championship and the World Cross Country Championship, Athletics Kenya secretary-general David Okeyo said on Monday.
The trials will be held on February 19 at the Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi and Okeyo said the Kenya needs to make a strong statement at the continental event which will be held in Bloemfontein, South Africa on March 6.
The world cross country Championship will be held on March 20 in Punta Umbria.
“It is practically impossible to select one team for the two events,” said Okeyo.
“The Africa cross country championship is meant to serve as a build up to the World event, but owing to the short time period separating the two, we have to review the selection.”
With the conclusion of the seven leg AK/KCB weekend cross country series, the stage is open for the institutional clubs to pick their best runners ahead of the national trials Kenya Police, which boasts a majority of Kenya’s elite runners, will stage its championship this weekend followed by the Armed Forces and the Kenya prisons.
Administration Police and universities have also a chance to pick athletes for the national championship.
Head coach Julius Kirwa said only athletes who have been competing in the series will be accepted in the trials with a few wild card handed to those who have been abroad competing in recognised IAAF world cross country series.
A total of 48 athletes will be selected for the two international assignments.