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Forces open armoury for Africa

Wednesday June 13 2012

David Rudisha of Kenya races to win the Men's 800m race at the 2012 Adidas Grand Prix on June 9, 2012 at Icahn Stadium on Randall's Island in New York . AFP PHOTO/TIMOTHY A. CLARY

AFP PHOTO/TIMOTHY A. CLARY David Rudisha of Kenya races to win the Men's 800m race at the 2012 Adidas Grand Prix on June 9, 2012 at Icahn Stadium on Randall's Island in New York .  

By AYUMBA AYODI [email protected]

The disciplined forces are expected to unleash some of the best stars when the two-day Kenya Championships in Athletics roll out at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Wednesday.

The athletes will be gunning for places in the team to the June 26 to July 1 Africa Senior Championships in Porto Novo, Benin, but the event will also set the stage for the Olympic Games trials due next week at Nyayo National Stadium.

One of the major attractions on Thursday is the World record holder and champion, David Rudisha, who has been entered by Kenya Police in the 800 metres.

Rudisha, who holds the world record time of one minute, 41.01 seconds from 2010 Rieti, last Saturday had the crowd at Icahn Stadium, New York, on its feet when winning his race in an explosive world leading 1:41.74.

The two-lap race supremo could also attempt the 400m, having featured in the distance at selected weekend meetings.

Olympic and World Indoor 800m champion Pamela Jelimo, who won the Diamond league leg of Doha in 1:56.94 before being stunned to second place by Ethiopian Fantu Magiso in Roma, will highlight the women’s race. She is also expected to run in the 400m.

Olympic and World champion Asbel Kiprop is set for the metric race where he is up against the likes of compatriot Nixon Chepseba while World Indoor 3,000m champion, Hellen Obiri, who is yet to have her act right since winning the world title, has a battle at hand in women’s 1,500m.

Obiri of Police is up against World Youth 1500m champion Faith Chepng’etich (North Rift), who is also the reigning World Junior Cross champion.

Police also have Eunice Sum, who reached the semi-finals at the World Championships in Daegu last year, Africa Cross silver medallist Margaret Wangare and Mary Wangare.

Milcah Chemos, who is fresh from breaking Eunice Jepkorir’s 3000m steeplechase Africa and Kenya records (9:07.41) in Oslo with new time of 9: 07.14 is out to protect her pride for Police in a field of Lydia Rotich and Lydia Chepkurui. Kenya Defence Force have Agnes Chesang.

The men’s steeplechase will be a sight to behold with World champion Ezekiel Kemboi in the mized alongside compatriots Olympic champion Brimin Kipruto, 2010 Diamond Leagie winner Paul Kipsiele Koech.

Most exciting moments

The short races will present one of the most exciting moments with several athletes eying not only for the national title but also post Olympic and Africa Senior Athletics qualifying times.

The 400m has an array of stars where Vincent Mumo (PB 45.31) will be hoping to stun the National and 2010 Commonwealth Games champion Mark Mutai (PB 45.28) again after dethroning him off the Kenya defence Forces title last month.

It’s left to be known if Alfas Koshoyiani, who was the World Junior Championships trials recently with the fastest time this year of 45.64 will be allowed to battle in the race.