Kenya targets strong squad for Commonwealth Games
Athletics Kenya will name a strong marathon team by early November for next year’s Commonwealth Games to be held in Australia from April 4-15 and the IAAF Word Half Marathon Championships set for Valencia, Spain in March 24.
The federation’s president Lieutenant General Retired Jackson Tuwei is confident that the squad which will be selected will be strong enough to enable Kenya continue her dominance in the road races,despite a 10 day difference between the two international events.
Kenya will be seeking to defend its IAAF World Half Marathon Championships men and women titles championed by Joyciline Jepkosgei, who has expressed her desire to return to Spain for the one day event, after her triumph in last Sunday’s Valencia Trinidad Alfonso Half Marathon,which she won in 1:04.51.
Team Kenya will then shift gears to Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia where they’ll bid to reclaim the men title last won by John Kelai during the 2010 New Delhi Games and also retain the women’s crown held by Flomena Cheyech Daniel.
“We are planning on engaging the marathoners because they have a seasonal programme that runs all year round. They also have to find contracts from race organisers and their managers. Hence we have to engage the marathoners before calling them in the team .It is imperative that they also know that we need to select a good marathon team,” Tuwei told Citizen Digital in a phone interview on Tuesday.
At the same time, the Athletics boss has urged the elite athletes to fill in their particulars early enough so as to have their accreditation processed on time for the Games, adding that further delay may lock them out of the competition.
“We have formed a team to contact all the athletes because there are certain details required before forwarding them to the National Olympic Committee of Kenya at the end of this week. It is our wish that all athletes including those who participated at the IAAF World Under- 18 Championships fill the forms,” Tuwei said.
Meanwhile AK will also be planning for Kenya’s title defence at the 5th African Cross Country Championships that will be held in Chlef, Algeria on April 17, six days before the start of the World Half Marathon Championships. This will require that the athletes get ample time for preparations.
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