Commonwealth Games: NOC-K orders repeat of triathlon trials

NOC-K Acting SG Francis Mutuku

Francis Mutuku, National Olympics Committee of Kenya’s Acting Secretary General, during the National Olympics Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) gala dinner hosted by Tusker at Eka Hotel in Eldoret town, Uasin Gishu County on October 06, 2021.

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The controversial women’s trials held at the Kenyatta University saw Meghan Irungu and Jossette Njeri being picked.
  • Njeri was still selected despite finishing a distant fourth in the elite women's race won by Irungu ahead of Aisha Nassar, something that didn’t auger well with other competitors.  

The National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) has ordered for a repeat of the women’s triathlon team trials for the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

At the same time, Team Kenya for the “Club” Games due July 28 to August 8 in the United Kingdom will proceed to residential training after the Steering Committee approves the games budget.

NOC-K secretary general, Francis Mutuku disclosed that the women’s triathlon trials held on March 27 this year were faced with technical challenges, hence failed to meet the set standards.

“The swim course was held at a swimming pool at Kenyatta University rather than an open water course, “said Mutuku, adding that there were also issues to do with the bike course, especially on the laps that the competition took.”

Mutuku, who held a meeting with Kenya Triathlon Federation (KTF) officials Tuesday, said that every athlete should be given the opportunity to participate and that there should be sufficient notice for the trials.

“There should be a level playing field for everyone with the best qualifying for the game. Let the athletes be subjected to the same standards that they will encounter in Birmingham,” said Mutuku.

The men’s trials that were held at the Karen Waterfront in March met the required standards that included the open water course.

The duo of Joseph Okal and John Paul prevailed during the trials to earn the tickets to the Birmingham Games.

The controversial women’s trials held at the Kenyatta University saw Meghan Irungu and Jossette Njeri being picked.

Njeri was still selected despite finishing a distant fourth in the elite women's race won by Irungu ahead of Aisha Nassar, something that didn’t auger well with other competitors.  

KTF secretary general Salonik Ole Koyiet said they will meet this week to decide on the date for the new trials, which should go down before the end of this month.

Mutuku said the residential camp that was to start last week for some events had been shelved until the budgets got clearance by the Steering Committee.

Mutuku failed to disclose how much this year's games will cost the country.  He said that they have been allocated 100 spots in the open allocation individual sports in addition to 52 athletes who have so far qualified from individual and team sports.

The 52 athletes who have qualified are drawn from rugby sevens men (13), basketball 3x3 men (4), basketball 3x3 women (4), hockey women (18), table tennis (2), weightlifting (3), beach volleyball women (2), wheelchair basketball women (4) and para powerlifting (2).

Sports that are awaiting for their allocation from the open allocation individual sports are athletics, swimming, badminton, boxing, cycling, judo, lawn bowls, squash, triathlon and wrestling.

Teams awaiting qualification are mostly from para sports; athletics, cycling, powerlifting, swimming, triathlon and table tennis.

It’s envisaged that Kenya could take an estimated 200 athletes to the Games. Kenya was represented by 136 athletes in 14 sports at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia, collecting 17 medals; four gold, seven silver and six bronze.

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