Road to Paris Olympics: AK invites over 250 athletes to compete in national trials

Friday, June 7th, 2024 07:36 | By
Athletes in a past Nairobi Marathon. PHOTO/StanChart/X
Athletes in a past Nairobi Marathon. PHOTO/StanChart/X

Over 250 athletes will be in contention for an Olympic slot at the Athletics Kenya national trials slated for Nyayo Stadium on June 14 to 15, 2024.

The qualification event moves from Ulinzi Complex, which is not a world athletics-certified venue to ensure the legibility of athlete’s qualification ahead of Paris.

49 athletes meet criteria

49 athletes have already qualified for the Olympics according to Paul Mutwii, AK Vice President and Head of Competitions. This is after they met the qualifying times and the set anti-doping criteria.

“We have a number of athletes totalling 49 that have been selected and are ready to compete. We have to abide by the doping regulations. All the athletes should have been tested 10 months prior to competition,” Mutwii stated.

Athletes considered for the national trials by the federation must have had at least one out-of-competition doping test between September 4, 2023, and May 3, 2024, as per regulations.

Kenyan athletes at a past briefing. PHOTO/@athletics_kenya/X
Kenyan athletes at a past briefing. PHOTO/@athletics_kenya/X

AK has also invited sprinters from Uganda, South Sudan, and Botswana to boost competition in the sprints where only Ferdinand Omanyala (100) and Zablon Ekwam (400) have stamped their tickets to Paris.

The national federation confirmed through the Youth Development Committee chairman Barnaba Korir that there will be no 10,000m races at the trials, insisting that the selection in Oregon remains final.

“The 10,000m will not be included in the trials. We already have a team following the Prefontaine trials. The top two athletes qualified automatically, with the third to be decided by a panel,” Korir said.

Beatrice Chebet, Lilian Kasait, Daniel Mateiko, and Nicholas Kipkorir qualified automatically based on their results in Oregon.

Athletes looking to double

The women's 5000m race promises to be exciting, with world 10k champion Beatrice Chebet competing against world 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon. Both will be looking to double in the race which will also include African champion Caroline Nyaga and world record holder Agnes Ng'etich.

Faith Kipyegon and Sifan Hassan after competing in 5000m race final in Budapest. PHOTO/(@WorldAthletics)/World Athletics/Twitter
Faith Kipyegon and Sifan Hassan after competing in 5000m race final in World Championship PHOTO/(@WorldAthletics)/World Athletics/Twitter

Kipyegon, who is racing for the first time this year, will also compete in the women's 1500m, where she will face heavy competition from Africa Games winner Mary Ekiru, 2021 World Under-20 champion Purity Chepkirui, and emerging star Nelly Chepchirchir.

Nicholas Kimeli, who has already stamped his 10,000m ticket after coming second at the Prefontaine Classic, will aim to double in the 5000m. He will face tough opposition from Daniel Ebenyo, the world 10,000m silver medalist, Jacob Krop, the world 5000m silver medalist, and Ishmael Kipkurui Rokito, the 2022 world cross country junior winner.

The top two athletes from each event will automatically qualify for the Olympics.

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