Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Kenya

AK issues strict rules for athletes at Kasarani bubble camp

Athletics Kenya (AK) has warned that no athlete will leave the World Athletics Championships and Commonwealth Games training camp at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani without permission.

AK Chief Administrative Officer Susan Kamau said that AK, the team management and the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) will decide whether to allow some athletes to compete in the Diamond League.

The Stockholm Diamond League is on Thursday in Sweden with events like the 800m, men’s 3,000m and women’s 3,000m steeplechase on the program.

The World Athletics Championships will run from July 15 to 24 in Oregon, United States followed by the Commonwealth Games on July 28 to August 8 in Birmingham, England.

After Stockholm, the next Diamond League is on August 6 in Silesia, Poland.

However, there are close to 15 events in the World Athletics Continental Tour before the start of the world event.

Kamau noted that it will be wise for the athletes in camp to concentrate on their preparations.

“Nevertheless, we shall make a decision on whom to release if possible,” said Kamau, adding that members of the athletics team selected on Saturday are already in camp at Kasarani.

“We have been working on their documentation and all is well. We are ready for the world event and Commonwealth Games. We shall be giving updates on the progress of the team,” said Kamau.

Kenya finished second with 11 medals; five gold, two silver and four bronze during the 2019 Doha World Athletics Championships.

Team Kenya collected 16 medals in athletes at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games; four gold, seven silver and five bronze, a performance that saw them finish fifth overall in athletics.

The country finished 14th overall with the only other medal coming from boxing through Christine Ongare who won bronze.

Athletics Kenya selected a team of 47 athletes for the World Athletics Championships and a similar number for the “Club” Games. There are several athletes who will double up in the two competitions.

The trials witnessed the return to form of some athletes, for instance World 3,000m steeplechase champion Conselsus Kipruto and Commonwealth Games 800m champion Wycliffe Kinyamal.

Others are the 2015 World Military Games 1,500m champion Selah Jepleting and World Half Marathon silver Kibiwott Kandie.

It also witnessed the continuous rise of some like Amos Serem, World Under-20 3,000m steeplechase champion Jackline Chepkoech and Abel Kipsang in 1,500m.

While Kipruto and Kinyamal will be heading to Oregon, Serem, Jepleting and Kandie could only settle for places in the Commonwealth Games team due to varying reasons.

Kipruto, who has been struggling with form, something that saw him fail to defend his Olympic title in Tokyo last year, eased off at the home-straight allowing World Under-20 champion Amos Serem to win.

Jepleting was the surprise winner of the women’s 5,000m, having scaled the distance event from 1,500m.

It was her second 5,000m race this year, having finished fifth at the Kip Keino Classic, but the anti-doping rules locked her out of the world event team.

Jepleting has not repented Kenya since the 2016 Durban Africa Senior Athletics Championships.

Kenyans athletes must go through three out-of-competition tests to qualify for the world event. Jepleting and Serem didn’t meet this requirement.

Kandie, the Kenya Defence Forces champion, who has been in-and-out of action due to a knee injury, claimed victory in the men’s 10,000m in 27:33.57.

Unfortunately, Kandie has not attained the qualifying mark for Oregon. Before winning the KDF event in February this year, Kandie had not competed on track for a year.   

Kinyamal, who is due for his maiden World Athletics Championships, has not represented Kenya since winning the Commonwealth Games title in 2018 in Australia.

Kinyamal, who has been on-and-off due to injuries, finished second in the 400m at the Kenya Police Service Athletics Championships, before winning the 800m title in April.

He would finish eighth at the Kenya National Championships the same month.

Kinyamal won the trials for World Championships and Commonwealth Games in 1:43.54.

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