What you need to know:
- Whether Chepng’etich will double up in 800m and 1,500m in Tokyo remain unclear.
- The other qualifier Beatrice Chepkoech specialises in steeplechase where she is the world 3,000m steeplechase champion and record holder.
The first two athletes to cross the finish line during the national trials next week at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani will automatically qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Athletics Kenya director for competitions, Paul Mutwi, disclosed that the third person to qualify from each event will be picked through merit by the panel of selectors led by head coach Julius Kirwa.
However, Mutwii noted that those attending the trials that will be held June 17 to 19 will be required to have met certain selection criteria.
They must have attained qualifying standards as stipulated by World Athletics besides having undergone the mandatory anti-doping education and testing as required by Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) of World Athletics.
The mandatory testing requires an athlete to have gone through three out-of-competition tests with one of them comprising a blood test. That should happen within 10 months before a major championship.
Close to 300 athletes have been invited for the trials including 100m sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala.
Olympic javelin silver medallist Julius Yego is the only athlete from field events to have qualified for the Olympics, having surpassed the qualifying mark of 85m during the 2019 African Games in Rabat. Yego hauled 87.73 m to win gold.
Only three athletes have qualified in sprints for Olympics- Hellen Syombua, 800m specialist Emmanuel Korir all in 400m and Moitalel Mpoke in 400m hurdles. Syombua clocked 51.09 when breaking the national record in 2019 in Nairobi, beating the time of 51.35.
Korir timed 44.37, beating the Olympic mark of 44.90 at the 2019 Doha World Athletics Championships.
The 20-year-old Mpoke clocked 48.89 seconds to win his 400m hurdles on May 15 during the South Eastern Conference Outdoor Championships at the E.B Cushing Stadium, Texas, United States.
Kenya has four qualifiers in women’s 800m- 2018 World Under-18 800 champion Jackline Wambui (1:58.79), 2013 world 800m champion Eunice Sum (1:58.99), Emily Cherotich (1:59.23) and Faith Chepng’etich (1:58.26).
Technically, Kenya has two qualifiers in women’s 1,500m; Olympics 1,500m champion Faith Chepng’etich and 2018 Continental Cup 1,500m champion Winnie Chebet.
Whether Chepng’etich will double up in 800m and 1,500m in Tokyo remain unclear.
The other qualifier Beatrice Chepkoech specialises in steeplechase where she is the world 3,000m steeplechase champion and record holder.