Kenyan hurdlers ready to shine at African showpiece
What you need to know:
- Musyoki is also in a buoyant mood: “We are refining our hurdles technique and speed endurance. I want to run sub 14 sec to have a chance of making it to the worlds.”
- Tabunda said she will continue to push on her quest to make it to the World Championships.
- “I am perfecting my hurdles technique, especially the attack. It is needless to be fast when the technique isn’t there,” said Tabunda.
Kenya has had its equal share of glory in hurdles at the Africa Senior Athletics Championships with Daniel Kimaiyo, Rose Tata-Muya and Philip Sang having set the pace.
The country boasts of 17 medals; five gold medals, seven silver and five bronze from the last 21 editions of the continent’s biggest athletics only extravaganza.
The country’s hurdlers are determined to further improve this medal tally at this year's Africa Senior Athletic Championships that runs from June 8 to 12 at Cote d’Or National Sports Complex in Reduit, Mauritius.
Kenya has so far won three gold medals in men’s 400m hurdles at the continental event; Daniel Kimaiyo (1979), Eric Keter (1993) and Boniface Mucheru (2016).
Kenya’s only gold medals from 110m hurdles were through Philip Sang in the 1982 and 1984 editions after silver in the inaugural event in 1979 in Dakar, Senegal.
The country is yet to claim victory in the women's race. Kenya's best performance in women’s 400m hurdles is by Rose Tata-Muya and Maureen Jelagat, who claimed silver medals in 1979 and 2016 editions respectively.
Kenya is yet to win a medal in women’s 100m hurdles.
The 2021 World Relay mixed shuttle bronze medallists Wiseman Were and Michael Musyoka will compete in the 110m hurdles (men), while Priscilla Tabunda, also a bronze medallist from the same event, will race in the women’s 100m hurdles.
Were will team up with William Mbevi in the men’s 400m hurdles. The hurdlers are training under coaches William Murgor and Caroline Kola at the Nyayo National Stadium.
All are taking part at the Africa event for the first time save for Tabunda, who will be making her fourth appearance.
Tabunda's appearances were in field events; pole vault in 2010 Nairobi and long jump in 2016 Durban and 2018 Asaba.
Were dashed to personal bests of 13.80 seconds and 49.48 seconds in the 110m hurdles and 400m hurdles this year when winning at the Kenya National Championships in April.
It’s a feat that Were hopes will propel and inspire him to posting World Championships qualifying times in Mauritius.
“I feel I can improve my 400mh time to a sub 48sec and qualify for the world event. I like my progression after having ran 49.80sec in March before the nationals,” said Were, adding that he ran sub 14 seconds in 110mh for the first time this year.
The World Championships qualifying time is 48.90sec in 400mh and 10mh is 13.32sec.
Were ran a personal best of 13.90sec to finish second at ASA Athletics Grand Prix 3 at the McArthur Stadium in Potchefstroom, South Africa on April 6, before improving the time further to13.80sec when retaining the national title on April 27 at Kasarani.
Musyoki is also in a buoyant mood: “We are refining our hurdles technique and speed endurance. I want to run sub 14 sec to have a chance of making it to the worlds.”
Tabunda said she will continue to push on her quest to make it to the World Championships.
“I am perfecting my hurdles technique, especially the attack. It is needless to be fast when the technique isn’t there,” said Tabunda.