The 3rd Safaricom Athletics Kenya Track and Field competition series takes place in Nakuru this Friday nd Saturday with elite athletes headlining start lists in several events.
The Weekend build-up meeting, the third after Bondo and Thika, will take place at Afuraha Stadium and will see the athletes participate in all track and field events as individual preparations for major championships move to top gear.
Compared to the last two opening competitions that attracted less elite class, the Nakuru assembly will witness a high profile cast with big names testing their shape ahead of the forthcoming IAAF World Challenge and the Diamond League Races that are starting in Kingston and Doha next month.
“Most of our senior athletes are competing in Nakuru this weekend. Wem have confirmation from several of them including steeplechase Diamond League winner Jairus Birech, Paul Kipsiele, Conseslus Kipruto in the 3,000 metres steeplechase and Nixon Chepseba, Silas Kiplagat and Hillary Maiyo in 1,500metres,” confirmed Japhet Kemei, South Rift sub-branch AK Secretary.
Other top runners to watch include former World Junior champions Viola Kibiwott, Irene Chelagat, Gladys Chesir and Veronica Nyarwai who are all angling for a place in the national team to the World championship in August.
Apart from local high ranking competitors, a host of foreign athletes training in local training camps would also be gauging their training against the country’s top cream as they compete in different events like it was witnessed during the last two editions.
Francine Miyonsaba from Burundi, Clementine Mudanga (Rwanda) Erick Semba (DRC Congo) and Albert Mamba (Mozambique), who are all training in Eldoret, will give Kenyans a run for their money on the track if what was seen in Bondo last month could be replicated.
During the Safaricom Athletics Kenya sponsored build up in Thika a fortnight ago, the sprints provided the highlight of the two-day competitions with veterans Joyce Zakary, Jacinta Shikanda and Charity Wandia and Alfas Kishoyan, Solomon Bwoga and Brian Gatura producing superlative performance.
Mainstream athletes like World champions Eunice Sum, Mercy Cherono, Ezekiel Kemboi, Caleb Mwangangi among others are yet to launch their defense build-up and Nakuru could be the most appropriate race before the remaining two Meetings in Kisii and Eldoret next month.
Bids for the 15th International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships and the All Africa Games will be known during the national Trials slated for July 24th and 25th at the Safaricom Stadium in Nairobi.
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