AK names Team Kenya for Africa track meeting

Wednesday March 18 2020
obiri_pix

Hellen Obiri runs towards the finish line in the women's 5000m final during the Athletics Kenya National Championships trials for the Africa Senior Athletics Championships at Kasarani on June 23, 2018. PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO |

Bereaved world and Commonwealth 1,500 metres champion Elijah Manang'oi and Commonwealth 5,000m silver medallist Edward Zakayo are among seven athletes on Saturday handed wild card entries to the Africa Senior Athletics Championships.

Manangoi of the National Police Service, who won his 1,500m semi-final on Thursday, lost his sister, Bena, the same day, forcing him to skip yesterday’s final battle with training mate Timothy Cheruiyot.

However, Athletics Kenya public relations officer Evans Bosire named Manang'oi in the 1,500m team alongside Cheruiyot (Kenya Prisons Service) and Charles Simotwo (Kenya Defence Forces).

Notably, Gloria Mulei might have shattered the 19-year Kenyan women’s triple jump record but only made it to the World Under-20 Championships team and not the Africa-bound squad.

The 18-year-old Mulei, who is a form four student at Kwanthanze Girls Secondary School, scaled 12.97 metres in the final to erase Caroline Kola’s previous record on 12.91m set during the Nationals on June 20, 2001.

Cheruiyot, the world and Commonwealth 1,500m silver medallist, effortlessly claimed the final in three minutes, 34.82 seconds as Simotwo timed 3:36.86 for second place as the Athletics Kenya National Championships ended yesterday at Kasarani.

Bosire named a squad of 63 athletes and 12 officials for the continental championships slated for August 1 to 5 in Assaba, Nigeria. The team moves into camp on July 9 in Nairobi.

Zakayo, who won his 5,000m race during the World Under-20 Championships trials last week, got the nod in the men’s 5,000m team that also has fellow teenager Samuel Chebolet and experienced Cyrus Rutto.

Also getting wild cards were 2015 world 400m hurdles champion Nicholas Bett (400m hurdles), Commonwealth 10,000m silver medallist Stacy Ndiwa (10,000m), Emmanuel Korir (800m) and Jane Chege (400m hurdles).

The most noticeable picks in the team are world and Commonwealth champions Conseslus Kipruto (3,000m steeplechase) and Hellen Obiri (5,000m) and national hammer throw men's and women's champions Dominic Abuda (KDF) and Rose Rakamba (Police).

New women's national javelin champion Damacline Nyakeruri (Police) and national high jump record holder Matthew Sawe, who is in line to defend his Africa title, also make the squad.

Notably, Gloria Mulei might have shattered the 19-year Kenyan women’s triple jump record but only made it to the World Under-20 Championships team and not the Africa-bound squad.

The 18-year-old Mulei, who is a form four student at Kwanthanze Girls Secondary School, scaled 12.97 metres in the final to erase Caroline Kola’s previous record on 12.91m set during the Nationals on June 20, 2001.

Back to wild cards, Bett, who competed in both 400m and 400m hurdles to win all his semi-finals heats, only got to the blocks for 400m final only, finishing sixth in 46.72.

That left his brother Aron Koech (Police), who is the Africa 400m hurdles bronze medallist, to reign supreme in the 400m hurdles final, winning the national title in 49.54. William Mbevi (KDF), who settled second in 50.49 also made the team.

Chege (KDF), who didn’t take part in women’s 400m hurdles, was given the chance, having attend attained the qualifying standard time. She will team up with Maureen Jelagat, who won the final in 58.04.