Which way trials?

world 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop starts his stopwatch during a previous Athletics meet kasarani./file
world 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop starts his stopwatch during a previous Athletics meet kasarani./file

The venue for the national Olympic trials is shrouded in doubt, according to Athletics Kenya president Lt Gen. (Rtd) Jack Tuwei.

Initial reports a month ago had indicated that Eldoret could hold the trials from June 29 to July 2 but Tuwei yesterday said they will soon announce a decision on the venue.

“We are going to meet with the National Olympic Committee of Kenya and make a decision on the same,” added AK president.

Tuwei said they changed the dates of the Olympic trials from June 14-15 to later in the month in consultation with NOC-K to allow athletes chase Olympic qualifying times in the Diamond League series.

“The initial dates would have meant that our athletes miss the Oslo and Stockholm Diamond League meetings on June 9 and June 16 respectively,” he added.

He said 18 athletes who are going to the Prefontaine Classic meeting in Eugene Oregon are likely to be considered for selection ahead of the Africa Athletics Championships slated for June 22-26 in Durban.

The trials to select the team are slated from tomorrow to Saturday at Safaricom Stadium, Kasarani and those taking part in the US meeting will definitely not be present.

Tuwei said they will consider those interested in the Africa Championships slots. “Some athletes are taking part in the Prefontaine Classic but I know some of them want to run at the Africa Championships. We will therefore monitor their times and the selection panel will decide,” added Tuwei.

Those expected to take part in Prefontaine Classic this Saturday include world half marathon and cross country champion Geoffrey Kamworor, Commonwealth Games 5,000m champion Caleb Ndiku, Olympics 5,000m bronze medallist Thomas Longosiwa, former world 5,000m bronze medallist Isaiah Koech, Clement Langat, former Olympic 5,000m silver medallist Edwin Soi and former world 10,000m bronze medallist Paul Tanui.

Olympics and world 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop will also compete in the Bowerman Mile alongside world silver medallist Elijah Maanagoi, Silas Kiplagat, James Magut and Andrew Rotich.

In the women’s category, Commonwealth Games 5,000m champion Mercy Cherono will lead the Kenyan onslaught alongside Sally Kipyego, Hellen Obiri, Betsy Saina and Viola Kibiwott

Tuwei said the relay 4x400m and 4x100m teams will be given a chance to qualify for the Olympics by taking part in the Africa event in Durban. “We want to give our relay team a chance and see how they will fare in Durban. Hopefully they can qualify for the Olympic,” added Tuwei.

The AK boss said they will send a strong team to the Africa event in Durban. “We will send a formidable squad the calibre of opposition athletes who are will take part in Durban. We expect the likes of Ethiopia’s Mohammed Aman and Nijel Amos (Botswana) hence we will have to be at our best,” he added