Julius Yego gets Commonwealth Games slot

Julius Yego

African javelin champion Julius Yego (centre) joins Utamaduni Ngomas dancers for a jig at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on June 13, 2022 after Team Kenya arrived from Mauritius where they took part in the Africa Senior Athletics Championships.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Athletics Kenya (AK) President Jack Tuwei said Wednesday that Gathimba and Ngii are among Kenyan athletes who will be given wild cards by the World Athletics.
  • Tuwei spoke during a media briefing ahead of the two-day AK trials for both the World Athletics Championships and the Commonwealth Games, which begin Friday at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Africa race walk champions Samuel Gathimba and Emily Ngii have been given wild cards to the World Athletics Championships scheduled for July 15 to 24 in Oregon, United States.

At the same time, Africa javelin champion Julius Yego will be the only athlete to represent Kenya in the field events at the Commonwealth Games to be held in Birmingham, England on July 28 to August 8.

Athletics Kenya (AK) President Jack Tuwei said Wednesday that Gathimba and Ngii are among Kenyan athletes who will be given wild cards by the World Athletics.

Tuwei spoke during a media briefing ahead of the two-day AK trials for both the World Athletics Championships and the Commonwealth Games, which begin Friday at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Some 175 athletes will fight for slots.

Tuwei also received sponsorship cheques of Sh15 million from Absa Bank Kenya and Lotto Foundation.

Absa Bank’s acting marketing and corporate relations director Moses Muthui presented a dummy cheque of Sh12 million, while Lotto Foundation’s chief executive officer Joan Mwaura gave a Sh3 million cheque.

“World Athletics will issue wild cards to fill in events in which athletes haven’t met the threshold by closure of the qualifying date on June 26. We have Kenyan athletes who are ranked high in the world, but haven’t met the World Athletics Championships qualifying standards,” Tuwei said.

Gathimba, Ngii and Yego retained their titles in their specialties during the Africa Senior Athletics Championships that was held on June 8 to 12 in Reduit, Mauritius.

Gathimba, who clocked one hour, 22 minutes and 40 seconds to bag his third consecutive victory, is ranked fourth in the world this year, while Ngii is ranked second after clocking 1:34:30 in Mauritius.

The walkers have not attained the world qualifying times of 1:21:00 (men) and 1:31:00 (women).

Anti-doing tests

Tuwei said that the first two athletes to cross the finish line during trials will either qualify for the World Athletics Championships or the Commonwealth Games.

A panel of selectors will decide on the third athlete to be picked for the competitions.

The athletics chief said that athletes must be committed to represent Kenya in both the Oregon and Birmingham events before the trials. However, he said no one will be forced.

Even though Diamond League winners and defending champions have wild cards to the world event, Tuwei said that they must be at the trials.

Since Kenya is in category of “A” of the doping countries, competitors for the world event must have done three out-of-competition tests 10 months before the event. One of the tests must be blood.

AK will send the selected team to World Athletics for final approval.

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