• The national championships will start on Tuesday and run all the way to Friday.
• According to AK executive committee member, Barnabas Korir, the first three across the line will make the trip to Doha later next month as long as they have the mandatory qualification mark.
Three-time World Half Marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor, Rhonex Kipruto and Stanley Waithaka are all in contention for early tickets to the World Championships in Doha when the national championships go down this week at the Moi Stadium, Karasani.
The national championships will start on Tuesday and run all the way to Friday. Out of the championship events, only 10,000m (men and women) will undergo trials for the Doha event next week with the rest of the events set for the big test on September 3 at the same venue.
A number of runners have already qualified including Kipruto, Kamworor and Waithaka and all they will need is to finish among the top three in the event that promises thrills.
According to AK executive committee member, Barnabas Korir, the first three across the line will make the trip to Doha later next month as long as they have the mandatory qualification mark. Korir said even those headed for the African Championships in Rabat, Morocco, are free to try their luck before they depart next week.
“The reason why we have decided to hold the 10,000m trials this early is because we want them to have time to recover in time for the world championships. Besides, the qualification date is September 3 and delaying the event will affect some runners who would have finished among the top three,” said Korir.
The qualification mark for the men’s 10,000m is 27:40.00. The competition, especially in the men’s category, is expected to be cut-throat with both the experienced and the upcoming legion battling for the three slots to Doha Championships.
Kamworor, Rhonex and Waithaka will have to prepare very well to shake off the likes of Charles Muneria, Wilfred Kimitei and Peter Emase all from Kenya Prisons.
Alfred Chelal Barkach of Armed Forces will be the other athlete to watch if his junior record is anything to go by. He will team up with Vedic Cheruiyot and Alex Oloitiptip. Central Rift has Josphat Kipchirchir, Cosmas Birech and Gilbert Kimunyan in the hunt for the tickets while South Rift will be banking on Edwin Kosgei, Bernard Kibet and Albert Tonui. Already, 10 athletes including Rhonex, Waithaka and Kamworror have qualified for the Doha extravaganza.
The women’s category will also be interesting with world 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri, former world cross country champion Agnes Tirop and former Africa champion Alice Aprot leading the way. Obiri will spearhead the KDF duo of Irene Khamais and Monica Chirchir while Tirop will head the Police counterparts including Stacy Ndiwa and Edith Chelimo. Aprot will have the company of Monica Wanjiru from the Prisons Team.
Also to watch will be the tripartite assault of North Rift’s Irene Cheptai, former world cross country champion, Brilliant Jepkorir and Nancy Jelagat. South Rift’s Sandra Chebet, Gladys Cherono and Everlyn Chirchir will equally be no pushovers.
Like their male counterparts, at least seven athletes have qualified for the global event already and all they will need will be to squeeze themselves into the top three places. The qualification time is 31:50.00 and Obiri, Ndiwa and Wanjiru are among those who have already qualified.