Over 60 Kenyan athletes are expected to take part in the 21st Senior African Athletics Championships to be staged in Asaba, Delta State from, August 1st to 5th.
After a not too encouraging outing at the last Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, Kenya are looking to make a big statement in Asaba with their ‘A’ athletes
Athletics Kenya President Jack Tuwei said they will take the Asaba 2018 event seriously since the top two runners from each discipline will qualify for the IAAF Continental Cup scheduled to hold in Ostrava, the Czech Republic on September 8th and 9th.
Kenya finished 2nd overall in the last edition of the championships two years ago in Durban, South Africa, clinching eight GOLD, eight Silver and eight Bronze medals. Host South Africa reigned supreme with 33 medals, while Nigeria was 3rd with 16 medals.
“The Intercontinental Cup is a big competition and we want most of our athletes to qualify. That is why we are keen to have the strongest team selected on merit to travel to Nigeria”, Tuwei was quoted as saying in the Kenyan media.
Top athletes led by World 1,500m champion Elijah Manangoi, 800m Commonwealth Games winner Wycliffe Kinyamal, and Hellen Obiri, the Olympic 5,000m Silver medallist are all expected to make the cut for the championships.
Kenya will host a three-day national competition/trials in Nairobi between June 21 to 23 to select its team to Asaba.
Olympic Bronze medallist and Commonwealth Games 800m Silver medalist Margaret Nyairera has confirmed she will compete in the 400m.
Also, World Cross Country Silver medallist Alice Aprot says she wants to atone missing the Commonwealth Games with victory at the Africa Athletics Championships in Asaba in August.
Aprot, who won the 10,000m race during the African Championships two years ago in Durban, is positive she would successfully defend her title in Asaba.
She would, however, brace up for stiff opposition from other names like Sandrafelis Chebet, Stacy Ndiwa, and Beatrice Mutai among others.
The Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, Delta State, will host the Asaba 2018 African Senior Athletics Championships from August 1 to 5.