The waiting for the coveted tickets to represent Kenya during the August 16th IAAF World Athletics Championships will end this Saturday after a bruising contest for the bragging rights.
Athletics Kenya has already released names of 247 athletes for the National Trials programmed to take place this weekend at the Nyayo National Stadium where defending champions faces uphill tasks in reclaiming their past glory.
Firework will illuminate the two-day tussle for slots in the national team when all those with International Association of Athletics Federation’s qualifying standards put their fitness to test on Friday and Saturday.
With only the first three finishers across the line being guaranteed of wearing the national colours, there will be no love lost when upsets pity the old order against Rockies out to try their newly discovered running talents.
The climax of the trial, epitomized as the mini-world championships, will usher in new blood in the sprints when Mark Otieno square it out with Ferdinand Omanyala in 100 and 200metres while new comer Maxilla Imali will meet her match in Rosyline Indimuli in the women replica.
The 1,500metres game will be the most interesting race to watch when the pair of Timothy Cheruiyot, the fastest this season (3:30.77) and Elijah Motonei Manangoi team up against three times champion Asbel Kiprop.
In women, Olympic Champion Faith Chepng’etich will have to tame Winnie Chebet and Judy Kiyeng to acquire the ticket to the global championships.
Olympic 400m hurdles silver medalist Boniface Tumuti will have to prove his worth when he faces pioneer brothers Nicholas Bett (World Champion) and Harun Koech in the finals of their specialty while Maureen Jelagat, the Africa bronze medalists will have to watch her rivals closely to reclaim the victory.
David Rudisha, the ruling King over the 800metres and reigning Olympic champion, has spoilt the broth by pulling out of the contest, paving way for junior sensation Kipyegon Bett to call the shoot while in women, Olympic bronze winner Margaret Wambui Nyairera will dust opposition from upcoming Eglay Nalyanya and veteran Silvia Chebe.
Another mouth-watering episode will be witnessed in the women 5,000metres where Olympic silver medalist Helen Obiri will clash with in-shape Lilian Kasait for top honours. Rodgers Kwemoi and upcoming Peter Kirui will star in the men edition if World Cross Country and World Half marathon winner Geoffrey Kamworor opt for 10,000metres.
Olympics 3,000metres Steeplechase champion Consenslus Kipruto will have to prove his victory in the water and barrier event was not by fluke beating his opponents that include 4-time World Champion Ezekiel Kemboi among others.
Apart from the team to be selected on Saturday, Athletics Kenya has already named the Marathon team of Geoffrey Kirui, Daniel Wanjiru, Gideon Kipketer, Paul Lunyangata (Reserve) and Ednah Kiplagat, Helah Kiprop, Philomena Cheyech and Purity Rionoripo (reserve) as well as 20Km walk Africa champions Samuel Gathimba and Grace Wanjiru found the slots in the line-up.
Kenya is expected to pick a medal-winning team after sterling performance in 2015 when the country finishing on top of the World with a haul 16 medals- 7 Gold, 6 Silver and 3 Bronze.
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