Athletics Kenya have raised concerns on the mode of selection for Team Africa for the Continental Cup athletics competition that will be held on September 8 and 9 in Ostrava, Czech Republic, after only nine athletes were picked from the country.
This is despite Kenya topping the medal standings at the recent African Athletics Championships in Asaba, Nigeria with 11 gold medals including in the men’s 4x400m relay.
No Kenyan athlete has been picked in men’s 4x400m as the Confederation of Africa Athletics (CAA) resorted to picking South Africa, Botswana and Nigeria.
Kenya’s quartet of Aron Koech, Alphas Kishoyian, Jared Momanyi and Emmanuel Korir won with a Championships Record time of 3:00.92, beating South Africa and Nigeria respectively.
Botswana’s duo of Amos Nijel, who won the 800m race, Thebe Baboloki, who retained his 400m title, and South Africa’s Phora Thapelo were picked to start with Chidi Okezie, who settled for silver in 400m being named as a reserve.
In a statement release by CAA, the name of the fourth athlete in the men’s 4x400m was missing.
AK president Jackson Tuwei said they would clarify with CAA on the criteria that was used to select the team.
CAA secretary general Lamine Faty said that they decided to select a country’s team instead of setting up the team with athletes coming from different countries.
“We don’t have enough time to build up a strong team with athletes coming from various nationality in only few hours,” said Faty.
Mathew Sawe, who retained his high jump title and 2015 World javelin champion Julius Yego, who reclaimed his javelin throw title, are some of the Kenyan athletes who have been named in the team.
Conseslus Kipruto (3,000m steeplechase), Hellen Obiri (5,000m) and Elijah Manangoi (1,500m) are in the team.
Wunderkind Edward Zakayo, who won the 5,000m title at the World Under-20 and Africa Championships will battle in 3,000m with Beatrice Chepkoech, who won women’s 3,000m steeplechase in Asaba being picked in her specialty.
The new Africa 1,500m champion Winny Chebet will square it off in the metric mile race with Emmanuel Korir, who settled for silver in 800m battling in the one-lap race.