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Why change of trials date is important

Thursday August 8 2019

Athletics Kenya (AK) President Jackson Tuwei addresses journalists at Riadha House, Nairobi on July 16, 2019. PHOTO | COURTESY

Athletics Kenya (AK) President Jackson Tuwei addresses journalists at Riadha House, Nairobi on July 16, 2019. PHOTO | COURTESY  

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The move by Athletics Kenya to separate the National Championships and the World Championship Trials is a well thought out idea.

According to a release this week, the national championships will take place on August 20-22 while the World Championship Trials will be be held on September 12-13.

According to my understanding, this is a matter of dialoguing with the athletes on how best they want to be handled or rather assisted in order to maximize on their potential.

In the past, events have been staged without consideration of the athletes' grievances and this is rather a good start. The truth of the matter is that if we want Kenya to be represented well at the international stage, we have to give all runners equal opportunities.

In this case, we understand that there are four crucial Diamond League meetings, which our runners must attend and combining the national event and the trials will be some sort of an injustice to some of them.

The Birmingham Diamond League is slated for August 18 with Paris slated for a week later. Zurich is planned for August 29 while Brussels will close the the Diamond League chapter on September 6.


We know our top runners will be taking part in the Diamond League meetings and they will need recovery time before proceeding for the Trials two weeks later. Besides, the Trials will serve as build-up events ahead of the World Championships in Doha Qatar from September 27 to October 6.

The beauty about the whole plan is that the 10,000 metres will be held earlier during the national championships in a bid to allow the athletes to recover in time for the World Championships.

The truth is that the 10,000m is not part of the remaining Diamond League meetings and we have no reason to delay the 25-lap event runners knowing they need time to recover and prepare ahead of the Doha event.

However, for those who feel they have what it takes and have no engagement with the Diamond League can still feature in both events in a bid to gauge themselves ahead of the Trials.

Besides, we are aware that most runners will be featuring in the All Africa Games slated for August 19 to September 1 hence some of the runners will wish to be part of the Trials.

As AK, we have a busy schedule this year and we must strive to get things right if we are to move forward. You will agree with me that some of the events will have the same runners featuring in both Morocco and Doha hence our latest move to separate the two.

Olympic javelin silver medallists Julius Yego is a good example and we have to be considerate.

All the same we are hoping to reap medals from both events besides dominating the Diamond League meetings.