Commonwealth, World Athletics Championship trials merged
What you need to know:
- Kenya managed to collect 17 medals; four gold, seven silver and six bronze from the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, finishing 14 overall, but fifth in athletics.
- All the medals were from athletics, save for bronze in boxing won by Christine Ongare in the women’s flyweight.
- Kenya finished second during the 2019 Doha World Athletics Championships with 11 medals; five gold, two silver and four bronze.
Athletics Kenya (AK) and the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) have agreed to host joint trials for the Commonwealth Games and World Athletics Championships respectively.
Consequently, the Commonwealth Games national trials that were due from Friday at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani have been called off.
The combined trials, where one team will be picked for both events, will now take place on June 24 to 25 at the same venue.
The new development arose following a meeting of officials from the two bodies led by NOC-K president Paul Tergat and AK president Jack Tuwei at NOC-K offices in Gallant House, Westlands, Nairobi on Tuesday.
The World Athletics Championships are due for July 15 to 24 in Oregon, United States, while the Commonwealth Games will run from July 28 to August 8 in Birmingham, United Kingdom.
Tuwei said that it's their wish to give the athletes the best chance and good environment to qualify for both events devoid of any pressure.
"A lot of changes have occurred around the world for the last two years owing to Covid-19. That is why we are having major events within one year,” said Tuwei.
Tuwei noted that most athletes want to compete in both events and it’s only wise they are given that opportunity, hence the move to name just one strong team.
“I want to thank Tergat and his team for giving us a chance to meet, plan and work together in readiness for the two events,” said Tuwei.
Tuwei clarified that it’s only in marathons that the country will be represented by different teams at the world event and “Club” Games.
Tuwei was accompanied by AK deputy president in charge of competition, Paul Mutwii, AK administrative officer Susan Kamau and AK director for development Barnaba Korir.
Tergat noted that it will not only be a matter of meeting the times or distances set for qualification for the two events, but also adhering to the World Athletics anti-doping requirements.
“We don’t want a scenario where we will be forced to remove someone from the team for not meeting the anti-doping standards. Pushing the Commonwealth Games trials to a later date gives us time, “explained Tergat, who was flanked by second deputy president Waithaka Kioni and secretary general Francis Mutuku.
Tergat said that athletes from the World Athletics Championships that will end on July 24 will have eight days to travel to Birmingham ready for the track and field events that will run from August 2 to 7.
“It’s not about numbers but quality and that is why we want a strong team at the two events,” said Tergat.
Mutuku clarified that even though they have 50 places for the athletics team for the Commonwealth Games, talks are still going on.
“The World Athletics Championships are quite attractive commercially, but the Commonwealth Games are big for the country, just ending on the eve of the General Elections in Kenya,” Mutuku said.
“We want our athletes to bring us together.”
Kenya managed to collect 17 medals; four gold, seven silver and six bronze from the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, finishing 14 overall, but fifth in athletics.
All the medals were from athletics, save for bronze in boxing won by Christine Ongare in the women’s flyweight.
Kenya finished second during the 2019 Doha World Athletics Championships with 11 medals; five gold, two silver and four bronze.