Athletics Kenya picked a strong 30-member team for the 2nd International Association of Athletics Federation World Relays Championships during an ecstatic national trial held at the Safaricom Stadium, Kasarani on Friday evening.
The national championships, sponsored by mobile phone service provider Safaricom, awoke the sleepy facility with rapturous cheers as the best of the best engaged the winning team gear and battled for positions in the squad to the annual global tournament.
Double World champion and a member of the world record-breaking 4 x 1,500metres team Asbel Kiprop and Commonwealth silver medalist Ronald Kwemoi gave an impressive account of themselves after blissfully anchoring their team to victory in the men Medley Relay.
Running in Athletics Kenya team A, the ever-agile and leggy Kiprop, together with Abednego Chesebe and Nicholas Bett, won in 9:25.81 after covering the four segments of 1200m, 400m, 800m and 1600m. He ran the 800metres quarter.
The former Olympic Solidarity scholarship holder expressed optimism that the team that will commence it’s final preparations in Nairobi ahead of the championships would do well and try to sneak in medals where it flattered in the inaugural event in the same place last year.
“The race was perfect. Although the Medley Relay is a new inclusion, personally I have been preparing well in order to give the best in my part. I prefer the 800metres section since I plan to compete in the event in the World championship later in the year,” said Kiprop, who shifted his training base from Eldoret to Iten this year.
In women edition, the unavailability of World 800 metres champion Eunice Sum did not deter the uartet of Selah Jepleting, Emily Cherotich, Silvia Chesebe and Virginia Nyambura from securing deserving victory after resting the baton in 10:58.0 against 11:11.9 done by Athletics Kenya B of Caroline Chepkemoi, Vivian Chelangat, Penina Wangari and Beatrice Chepkoech.
But excitement were in the traditional 4 x 400 metres relays where the Kenyans were engaged in a toe-tight rivalry by two Foreign teams that had invited to spice up the occasion. The Nigerian women team and Botswana (Men) sounded warning to the host of what they are likely going to encounter in Bahamas 21 days ahead.
Other Relay teams selected for the May 2nd and 3rd World championship included the 4 x 200m men where Pius Muia, Geoffrey Kiprotich, Michael Mokamba, Mark Otieno and Collins Omae will form the competing squad and 4 x 400m composed of Alexander Sampao, Boniface, Mwereza, Michael Makan, Alfred Keshoyan and Raymond Kibet are the starters.
The high profile trial that culminated in the selection of the national team was witnessed by Safaricom Staff led by the it’s Chief Executive Officer Bob Collymore and all Athletics Kenya Executive under the Federation President Isaiah Kiplagat.
MEDLEY RELAY WOMEN
MEDLEY RELAY MEN
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