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Omanyala headlines Kenya’s team for Africa Athletics Championship

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Ferdinand Omanyala. PHOTO/Capital Sports
  • African record holder Omanyala will run in three races
  • AK to name final team by end of next week
  • Africa Championships scheduled for June in Mauritius

African 100m record holder Ferdinand Omanyala will headline Kenya’s team to the Africa Senior Athletics Championship to be staged in Mauritius in June after Athletics Kenya concluded a three-day national trials at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani.

Omanyala is scheduled to compete in three races, going for the 100m, 200m and 4x100m having won all three titles at Kasarani. Omanyala rocked the 100m final, running a time of 10.03secs to win while he clocked 20.43secs to win the 200m race.

Earlier on Wednesday, Omanyala helped the Kenya Police team to the 4x100m relay title, anchoring a powerful final sprint to aid the uniformed men to the crown. Athletics Kenya will however select a team later this week for the relay.

“Yes, I will be going for all three. I will run in all the races and definitely the target is to win gold in all. It was a great championship and I really feel happy to have competed for the first time since 2019. The competition was really good too. The 200m was a bit difficult because it had rained and the blocks were abit slipper but all in all they were good times,” he added.

Meanwhile Maximila Imali will also be going for a triple, having been named in the 100m and 200m team after winning both finals on Thursday. She will also likely go for the relay as well.

In other sprint races, Wiseman Were and Priscilla Tabunda dominated the men and women’s hurdles while former rugby player Collins Omae won the 400m race to earn a ticket to the African showpiece.

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Jackline Chepkoech celebrates after winning the steeplechase

Elsewhere, World U20 Champion Jackline Chepkoech will lead the hunt for medals in the women’s steeplechase after flooring a healthy field in the final to earn a ticket to the African championship in what will be her first senior competition outside the country.

She clocked 9:26.12, finishing ahead of former World Under-18 and Under-20 champion Celiphine Chespol who timed 9:31.11 and Caren Chebet who was third in 9:31.69.

She says her ambition is to go to Mauritius and earn a gold medal.

“I am really delighted to be running with seniors now and I hope that I can win a medal also. I know it will not be easy because now this will be an African championship but I will prepare well to win. There are several things that I hope to improve on,” he said.

Meanwhile, Abraham Kibiwott will lead the men’s team, while former World and Olympic Champion Conseslus Kipruto is hoping to be included in the team after running in the final to finish fifth.

“I just requested to run in the final to gauge myself and see where I am because I had not run in the heats and I want to thank Athletics Kenya for giving me that opportunity. I have not competed since 2019 and now I want to slowly improve. If I can be given a chance to go to the African championship then I will be delighted,” said Kipruto, who missed the defense of his Olympics title due to injury.

The team is expected to start camp next week, in preparation for the Championships.

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Action at the Athletics Kenya National Championship

Team Kenya for Mauritius

100m women; Maximilla Imali, Monica Safania

100m men; Ferdinand Omanyala, Hesbon Ochieng

100m hurdles women; Priscilla Tabunda, Rukia Nusra

110m hurdles men; Wiseman Were, Michael Musyoki

200m men; Ferdinand Omanyala, Dan Kiviasi

200m women; Maximilla Imali, Millicent Ndoro

400m women; Veronica Mutua, Jacinta Shikanda

400m men; Collins Omae, William Rayian

400m hurdles women; Jane Chege, Diana Chebet

400m hurdles men; Wiseman Were, William Mbevi

800m women; Jarinter Mawia, Naomi Korir

800m men; Noah Kibet, Nicholas Kebenei

1500m women; Purity Chepkirui, Winnie Chebet

1500m men; Abel Kipsang, Kumari Taki

3000m SC women; Jackline Chepkoech,  Cellphine Chespol

3000m SC men; Abraham Kibiwott, Geofrey Kirwa

5000m women; Beatrice Chebet, Caroline Nyaga

5000m men; Daniel Simiu, Ismael Kirui

10,000m women; Alice Aprot, Judy Komen

10,000m men; Kenneth Kiprop, Julius Chepkwony

20km Walk race men; Samuel Gathimba, Heristone Wanyonyi

20km Walk race women; Sylvia kemboi, Emily Ngii

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