Kenya will be represented by four teams at the 125th USA Penn Relay Championships starting Thursday in Philadelphia.
The country makes a return to the championships, that have also attracted sprinter giants Jamaica after five years absence, as they look to qualify for the World Championships slated from September 28 to October 6 in Doha, Qatar.
The 4x400m and 4x100m men and women’s teams that leaves the country Tuesday night aboard KLM plane, are handled by former 400m champion Vincent Mumo and George Macharia.
Athletics Kenya Secretary General Susan Kamau also named a squad of three sprinters for the Mauritius International Meeting scheduled for Friday and Saturday.
Former National champions Aaron Koech, Alphas Kishoyian, Collins Omae, former national junior champion Alex Sampao and Jared Momanyi make the 4x400m.
National 400m champion Maximilla Imali highlights tje women’s 4x400m team, that also has newly crowned Africa Under-20 400m champion Mary Moraa, Maureen Thomas, Joan Cherono, Gladys Nthenya and Veronica Mutua.
Former 100m national champion and record holder Mike Mokamba, Michael Ngugi, Walter Moenga, Stephen Barasa and Elijah Onkware make the men’s 4x100m team.
African Games 100m silver medallist Eunice Kadogo, Freshia Mwangi, Evangeline Makena and Diana Chebet form the women’s 4x100m team.
National javelin champion Demacline Nyakeruri will team up with sprinters Hellen Syombua (400m) and Ferdinand Omanyala (100m) for the Mauritius Meet.
Syombua glided to a personal best of 51.72 with Omanyala dashing to 10.14 second in their 400m and 100m finals during the national trials for the World Relays at the Lorna Kiplagat Stadium, Iten.
Syombua’s time surpassed Doha World Championships qualifying time of 51.80, while Omanyala’s feat was enough to break the national record, but all was in vain since the six-lane track is not certified by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF).
Some of the athletes headed to USA will use the event to hone their skills ahead of the World Relay Championships scheduled for May 11-12 this year in Yokohoma, Japan.
Kenya will only field four teams; 4x200 men and women, 4x400m mixed relay and 2x2x400m mixed relays in Yokohama.
The country won’t have 4x100m, 4x400m teams and newly introduced shuttle hurdles in Yokohoma after their men’s 4x400m was locked out despite clocking a Championship Record of 3:00.92 when winning at the Africa Championships in Assaba, Nigeria.
The IAAF failed to ratify the time since the track in Assaba wasn’t certified.
Efforts to have Kenya qualify form elsewhere failed after IAAF declined their request. The women’s 4x200m and 4x400m team didn’t have the qualifying time, while AK failed to enter the team for the shuttle relays because of our low standard in 100m hurdle and 110m hurdles.