Sprinters eyeing Rio times in Durban Africa meet


Mike Mokamba (154) of KDF receives the baton from Charles Wamwea (R) in the 4x100m ...
Mike Mokamba (154) of KDF receives the baton from Charles Wamwea (R) in the 4x100m men relay during the National Championships/African Championship Trials held at the Safaricom Stadium Kasarani on May 27/05/2016. KDF team won the race. Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com

While most distance runners have already ran Rio 2016 qualifying times, sprinters are relishing using the forthcoming CAA Africa Athletics Championships in Durban, South Africa to nail the Olympics standards before vying for places in the Kenya’s team during the June 30-July 1 Trials.

Athletics Kenya (AK) selected a bumper squad of 61 athletes (34 men and 27 women) for Durban with emphasis placed on giving as many short distance runners as possible the opportunity to grab Olympics standards in the low-altitude Durban.

The federation is keenly interested in qualifying a 4x400m relay team for the Olympics to give surprise world 400m hurdles champion, Nicholas Bett a potent supporting cast.

Beijing 2015 fifth finisher, Boniface Mucheru (49.84) faces stiff internal competition from Aaron Koech, the twin brother of Bett after the latter dethroned him from the national crown in a career best 48.99 performance.

“During the World Championships I made some silly mistakes which cost me very much. It motivated me to train and polish up on my hurdling technique.

“This is an Olympics year and I do not want to make the same mistakes. I’m ready for Durban and am hopeful of a good performance with my training partner Koech,” the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) runner told.

National double sprint champion, Mike Mokamba who was part of the 4X400m relay team that exited at the first round in Beijing will double in the 100m and 200m with Peter Mwai and Gilbert Otieno joining him in the longer dash.

Fellow KDF athlete and 2011 African Junior Champion Alphas Kishoiyan will lead Raymond Kibet, Stanley Kieti and Boniface Mweresa in the men 400m squad.

Eunice Kadogo will also double in the 100m and 200m in the corresponding women’s event with former national champion Millicent Ndoro and newcomer Mary Tanui also selected in the latter.

World 800m junior champion, Margaret Nyairera will drop the distance to 400m alongside seasoned Maureen Thomas and Helen Syombua.

The team is expected to report to camp at Safaricom Stadium Kasarani on Monday week and leave for South Africa on June 17.

AK Vice President Paul Mutui assured the athletes their positions in the team were secure.

“Do not be worried that the elite runners will come and replace you. The team will go as named. Complete your training and win more medals for Kenya,” the official announced when the team was named on Saturday.

SELECTED TEAM

Men

100m: Mike Mokamba; 200m: Mike Mokamba, Peter Mwai, Gilbert Otieno; 400m: Alphas Kishoyian, Raymond Kibet, Stanley Kieti, Boniface Mweresa; 800m: Nicholas Kiplagat, Jonathan Kitilit, Boaz Kiprugut; 1500m: Vincent Leting, Timothy Cheruiyot, Eric Kiptanui; 5000m: Mangata Ndiwa, Peter Lagat; 10000m: Kenneth Kipkemoi, Wilfred Kimitei, Stephen Arita; 110m Hurdles; William Mbevi; 400m Hurdles; Aaron Koech, Boniface Mucheru, Kiprono Kosgei; 3000m S/Chase; Abraham Kibiwott, Phenus Kiplenting

Field events: Tera Lagat (Long Jump), Elijah Kimitei (triple jump), Matthew Sawe (High jump), Nelson Yego, Alex Toroitich (Javelin)

Race walking: Samuel Kireri, Simon Wachira

Women

100m: Eunice Kadogo; 200m: Eunice Kadogo, Millicent Ndoro, Mary Tanui; 400m: Margaret Nyairera, Maureen Thomas, Hellen Syombua; 800m: Emily Cherotich, Winnie Chebet, Sylvia Chesebe; 1500m: Judy Kiyeng,  Sela Jepleting, Sandra Chebet; 5000m: Sheila Jepkirui, Margaret Chelimo, Sheila Chelagat; 10000m: Alice Aprot, Jackline Chepng’eno, Joyline Jepkosgei; 110m Hurdles: Priscillah Tabunda; 400m Hurdles: Maureen Jelagat, Jane Chege; 3000m S/Chase: Lydia Rotich, Norah Jeruto, Agnes Chesang

Field events: Rebecca Kerubo/Hammer

Race walking: Grace Wanjiru, Linda Waweru

Officials: Joseph Kiget (Team manager), Mohammed Said (deputy team manager), Justine Kipchirchir (Chaperone).

Coaches: David Kitum, Joseph Ngure, Pascaline Chelagat, Peter Saina, Benjamin Kemboi, Sammy Koskei, Benjamin Busia, Joseph Kasaine.

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