The cut-down to the national athletics championships ends this Saturday with all the regions completing their selections during the weekend.
The national competitions, bringing together all the 16 Athletics Kenya appendages, are scheduled to take place next at the Safaricom National Stadium, Kasarani on 9th to 11th this month of July.
Already, battle grounds have been drawn among the federations’ affiliated institutions after the three disciplined forces completed their national championships and hurtling their charges to camps ahead of the annual rivalry that will pity Kenya Defense Forces against the Kenya Police.
The Central Region that encompasses the five Counties of Kiambu, Nyandarua, Nyeri, Murang’a and Kirinyaga, was the first to hold it’s championships at Ruring’u Stadium in Nyeri last week while the rest are expected to complete their this week.
In the Central Rift and North Rift, the country’s athletics nerve centre, action will be at the newly upgraded Kipchoge Stadium in Eldoret and the famous Kamariny Stadium in Iten were teams for each region would be picked.
In Eastern, the regional selection will move to Meru Teachers College playing grounds while in Southern Machakos Stadium will host the two-day challenge. Other branches doing their final selections include Nairobi that will converge at Nairobi West Prisons, Nyanza North and South, Coast, Southern, Western and South Rift regions.
Kenya Prisons Service was the last among the disciplined forces to hold their selections that picked the institution’s front-runners for the national superiority contest two weeks ago and vowed to rumble as they seek to wrestle medals from other superior forces.
Athletics Kenya Prison Service Boss Benjamin Njoga has already sent warnings to the dominative Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) and Kenya Police Service (KPS) that his institution should not be underrated from now.
“We have a short and long term plan to revamp athletics in the Kenya Prisons Service. We are getting a lot of support from the Commissioner and within a short while our rivals will encounter an improved branch. This is our strategy,” said the second-in-command over his vision to move athletics to the next level.
During the two-day national competitions, new recruits proved their intentions to give the service a new lease and take over from the retired greats that made the corrective institution a force to be worthy laying plans to fight with during events ranging from 5,000metres to Marathon (42Km).
The Prison Service would be counting on the experienced and quality talents being exhibited by former Commonwealth Games Champion Silas Kiplagat and versatile Sing’ore girl-bread Maurine Jelagat to gain advantage during the nationals where all the AK branches must honour the competitions. Kiplagat and Jelagat were unbeatable in their events during the competitions.
The Kenya Police was the first institution to stage their national selection followed by the Kenya Defence Forces and their teams are warming up with rehearsal for the national contest and Kasarani.
The national championships would pave way for the national trial for the IAAF World Championships and The All Africa Games that have been pushed to 31st of July and 1st of August.
Already, Athletics Kenya has KDF coach Julius Kirwa as the head coach and Isaac Kirwa and Gilbert Koech (all from Kenya Police) on the technical bench while former National treasurer Joseph Kenya, also the Eastern branch chairman, the Team manager to the World championship team.
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