Kenya seeks World Relays redemption in Bahamas return


Ferguson Rotich wins the 800m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Stockholm (Hasse Sjogren) © ...
Ferguson Rotich wins the 800m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Stockholm (Hasse Sjogren) © Copyright

After a disappointing showing at the 2015 IAAF World Relays in Nassau, Team Kenya returns to the Bahamian capital on later April for the third edition of the biennial, global track and field relay seeking redemption.

A low turnout marred an otherwise successful national trials but Athletics Kenya (AK) hold the hope the squad that will flag the Kenyan flag at the two-day global event will match the 2014 performance where the country finished third with a total of 35 points.

They garnered a paltry 15 points a year later to settle for seventh place before the showpiece originally intended as an annual event was later decided to happen every odd year.

Olympians Ferguson Rotich, Alfred Kipketer and Alphas Kishoyan carried the day as they booked their tickets to the Thomas A Robinson Stadium in Bahamas although the men’s 4X400m team failed to qualify after the Republic of South Africa and Botswana bailed out of the IAAF permit trials on Saturday.

Kenya will be sending a contingent of 30 athletes and five officials for the 4X200m, 4X400m (women), 4X800m and the 4X400m and 4X800m mixed relay events to compete for the golden baton at the international arena.

After winning a gold medal in the 4X800m (2014) and silver (2015)  in the men’s distance medley relay, Rotich and Kipketer  will be going for their third World Relay outing and are thirsty for another world title.

The duo will be joined by Bett Kipyegon and Timothy Kitum all under the same management (Marc Corstjens) with Cornelious Tuwei also in the hunt.

“I’m very happy to have booked myself a place in Bahamas once more. It’s Exciting because most of the athletes in the 4X800m are people I know because we train together and I know them well,” Rotich said.

The competition will consist of five events; 4x100m, 4x200m, 4x400m and 4x800m for both men and women, and a mix 4X400m to cream the event.

It is the event that two-time African silver medalist Alphas Kishoyan is itching to be a part of once more after suffering a disappointment with the men’s 4X400m team.

Kishoyan who has won silver as a junior and a senior in the 4X400m hopes to emulate former 1500m Olympics and three time World Champion Asbel Kiprop in leading Bonface Mweresa, Geoffrey Kiprotich, Daisy Komen and Betty Chelangat in the hunt for the inaugural mixed relay golden baton a fortnight from now.

“It’s unfortunate that the men didn’t make it, but we shall go through the mixed relay which is going to be very exciting since it’s the first time. Though it’s hard to predict a podium finish, but once we are on the track we shall battle it out for the top place,” Kishoyan told Citizen Digital.

Team Kenya is expected to report to camp in Nairobi West on Wednesday and train at the Moi International Sports Center, Kasarani before the old tartan track is replaced with a new one ahead of the IAAF World Under 18 Championships slated for July 12-16.

 Team Kenya provisional squad

 4X200 men

  1. Collins Omae
  2. Ferdnard Omunyala
  3. Peter Mwai
  4. Mike Mokamba
  5. Mark Otieno (rsv)

Women

  1. Maximilla Imali
  2. Damaris Okoth
  3. Peris Chege
  4. Patricia Isichi
  5. Mary Tanui

4X400m women

  1. Jacinta Shikanda
  2. Veronica Mutua
  3. Grace Kidake
  4. Evalyne Makena
  5. Catherine Nandi

 

4X800m

Men

  1. Bett Kipyegon
  2. Ferguson Rotich
  3. Aflred Kipketer
  4. Cornelious Tuwei
  5. Timothy Kitum

 Women

  1. Emily Rotich
  2. Silvia Chesebe
  3. Josephine Chelagat
  4. Mary Kuria
  5. Ecla Nalianya

Mixed relay 4X400m

  1. Alphas Kishoyan
  2. Boniface Mweresa
  3. Geoffrey Kiprotich
  4. Daisy Komen
  5. Betty Chelangat

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