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Kenya set to select joint team for Worlds, Commonwealth Games

  • The Trials will be conducted on Friday and Saturday at Kasarani
  • Over 150 athletes have been invited
  • The first two across the line will qualify for both the World Championships and Commonwealth Games

Athletics Kenya will on Friday and Saturday select a team to represent Kenya at both the World Athletics Championships and Commonwealth Games. With the two evens running side by side, Athletics Kenya decided to select one team that will do both events with athletes expected to double.

The World Athletics Championship runs from July 15 to 24 in Oregon, United States and the Commonwealth Games starting four days later, July 28 to August 8 in Birmingham., United Kingdom.

“All these events are important and very big for us and we will want to field the strongest possible teams. All athletes who have been invited for the trials will have to commit to double and only under very special circumstances will we allow someone to go for only one event,” Athletics Kenya boss Jackson Tuwei said.

All athletes who have been invited for the trials are expected to commit to double while only marathoners will be exempt due to the recovery time needed for them.

Kenya has been handed 45 slots for the Commonwealth Games and as thus, only two across the line will be assured of a place while Athletics Kenya will add a third to make it three for the World Championships team.

Athletics Kenya president Jack Tuwei

In cases where a Kenyan athlete is a defending champion in a World Championship event, Kenya has the liberty to field up to four athletes. Already, three have earned themselves wildcards. Walkers Emily Ngii and Samuel Gathimba have been handed wildcards.

Apart from the top two earning direct tickets, they will need to have achieved the qualification standards to be selected.

Among the strict standards set include anti-doping requirements where every athlete must have undergone at least three out of competition tests, with Kenya still in Category One of the World Anti-Doping Agency watchlist.

The events will be straight finals starting with Friday’s eight finals. The men’s and women’s 200m finals, 5,000m men, 10,000m women, 1500m women, men’s steeplechase, women’s 800m and men’s 400m will be contested on Friday.

All contestants in the men and women’s 200m apart from Mike Mokamba will be contesting for a place in the Commonwealth Games. Mokamba is the only one who has hit qualification standards for the World Championships.

In the men’s 400m, Emmanuel Korir is the only one to chase both a World Championship and Commonwealth Games ticket while the rest of the seven in the starting list will only be competing for a slot in Birmingham.

In the men’s steeplechase, Conseslus Kipruto who has competed twice in the Diamond League since his return from injury has a direct ticket to the World Championships as a defending champion and will only be contesting for a place in the Commonwealth Games.

Five of the 13 starters in the race are eligible for both the World and Commonwealth Games.

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