When Athletics programe get underway on Sunday morning in Brazzaville, Congo, Kenya’s Athletics Team will be firing on all cylinders as earmarked athletes begin the chase for glory with gusto.
The high profile squad that left the country on Thursday to join the continental team in Congo, will have to employ all the tricks acquired during training sessions because they would be bearing the burden of winning coveted medals for the country.
“Athletics is our main sport. The runners are our first born. That is why we have allocated the sport the highest number of slots compared to other disciplines. We are pegging our hope for medals on athletics,” Charles Nyaberi, the Team Kenya Executive Officer, told athletics officials during the preparations.
This comes following the sterling performance the country registered during the recently- concluded International Association of Athletics Federation’s World Athletics Championships in Beijing, China, where Kenya finished on top of the world for the first time since the inception of biannual competition in 1983.
In Beijing, the athletes won a total of 16 medals with seven gold, six silver and three bronze and toppled athletics power house like Jamaica, United States of America, Russia and China who trailed in that order.
In Congo, Kenya has sent a contingent of more than 300 athletes and officials who are taking part in seventeen sporting disciplines that include Athletics, Cycling, Swimming, Weight lifting, Volleyball for women, Karate, Badminton, Judo, Handball, Table Tennis, Lawn Tennis, Rugby Sevens for Men, Beach Volleyball, Paralympics, Boxing (Men), Wrestling and Tae-kwon-Do.
Athletics Programes starts on Sunday and Kenya is expecting maiden medals in men’s 3,000metres steeplechase and women 5,000metres when former World champion Bronze medalist Abel Mutai and Rosemary Wanjiku will anchor team mates Clement Kemboi, Hillary Kemboi and Margaret Jelimo and Alice Aprot in the chase for glory during the afternoon programe.
Olympic bronze winner Timothy Kitum, Jackson Kivuva, Job Kinyor (men), Annet Mwanzi, Silvia Chesebe and Winnie Chebet (women) will also be on the sideline running the 800metres semis on the same day where they will be seeking for qualifications to the finals that will be run on the second day on Monday 14th.
Kenya will be all out to out-do the 2011 Maputo All Africa Games performance where a total of 50 medals (14 gold, 14 silver and 22 bronze) were harvested and to improve the country’s overall ranking from the 6th position.
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