Elite athletes will have to forfeit their accumulative Diamond League points this weekend in Lausanne for the National showdown where regions and institutions would be parading the country’s top stars for the annual showbiz.
Being a World Championship year, the nationals will provide a mouth-watering theatre with the charges blazing for the triple role of amassing points, aiming at attaining qualifying marks and booking places to the trials earmarked for July 31st and August 1st.
Paris marked the last stop for the interlude with 800metres World champion Eunice Sum, triple world champion Ezekiel Kemboi and last year’s Diamond League winner Jairus Birech, all contesting in the League series, closing with additional points.
Safaricom Stadium Kasarani is hosting the three-day championship from Thursday to Saturday where stiff contention will leave fans yearning for more when the Kenya Police and Kenya Defense Forces go hammer and tong for the overall trophy.
Rejuvenated Kenya Prisons Service will play the hiding bug role for the spoils between the antagonists while the fast emerging South Rift will look into toppling the Central and North Rift that has been at the helm of provincial braches for a long time.
Apart from the affiliates going for the points, individuals will engage each other in their specific training events for the title bragging rights with new revelations itching with the desire of stealing the limelight in chosen races.
Conseslus Kipruto, Jairus Birech are likely to cause upsets if the pair can plot a coup against the established order of never-aging Ezekiel Kemboi and Paul Kipsiele Koech together with Brimin Kipruto who are on redemption mission in the water and barrier event of Steeplechase.
Virginia Nyambura (Police), the Diamond League front-runner, will make her intensions known during the championships after winning the League opener despite being entered as a pace-setter.
In the middle distant events, the old order will have to bear with fast -rising Furguson Rotich, Elijah Manangoi and Timothy Cheruiyot in the men’s ring while Eglay Nalianya, Margaret Nyairera and Judith Kiyeng are seeking to stamp their feet in the women arena.
Alfas Kishoyan, Joseph Pogisho (KDF), Moses Kertich (Prisons) and Joyce Zakari, Jacinta Shikanda (Kenya Police), Damaris Imbogo and Veronica Mutua (Prisons) will light the Stadium with their sprinting ability as well as registering better times for consideration for the trials.
Newly reinstated Head Coach Julius Kirwa is keen to have the best for the 15th edition of the World championship and is asking potential team members to minimize their Grand Prix engagement to avoid burning-out.
“We know some athletes are leading with points in the on-going Diamond League but they need to choose their competition very carefully. They must know the task ahead in Beijing is very paramount and need proper approach,” warned the coach, who handled the Beijing and London Olympics teams in 2008 and 2012.
The Grand Prix and Diamond League races currently taking place in Europe and America provides an open opportunity for acquiring the requisite qualify times to the biannual championship.
The Trials for the selection, which will succeed the nationals, will take at the end of July and beginning of August and only athletes who have attained the entry standards would be invited to compete.
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