Athletics Kenya is set to host a three-day selection process to pick her representatives to the 21st African Athletics Championship to be staged in Asaba, Delta State.
Kenya’s javelin star Julius Yego and world 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri are among the elite athletes eyeing a return to the African Athletics Championships having missed out in the 2016 edition in Durban.
It is understood that only the top two athletes in each discipline will secure automatic tickets to represent Kenya at the Asaba 2018.
The Championships will run from August 1st to 5th and will feature athletes from every one of Africa’s 54 countries.
Speaking in Nairobi, Yego said he had gained tremendous ground since returning to action after he battled groin and ankle injuries that saw him lose the world title last year in London.
“I have returned to action and managed to throw the javelin over 80 meters twice in Ostrava and Finland. Now the focus will be to make the Kenya team, compete in one more Diamond League event and head to Nigeria to try and win the Africa title,” he said on Tuesday
However, for Obiri, the attraction of competing at the Athletics World Cup in Ostrava, the Czech Republic in September is what motivates her to return to the continental championships.
Four years ago, she made the cut, but ultimately failed to win the 1,500m race.
“In my two previous appearances at the Africa Championships, I always competed in the 1,500m race. This will be my first time at the Africa Championships as a 5,000m athlete. In 2014 I won the 1,500m title in Mauritius but did not manage a podium finish during the World Cup,” said Obiri on Tuesday in Other athletes to look out for in the Kenya national trials include Elijah Manangoi, the World and Commonwealth Games 1,500m champion, 400m hurdler Nicholas Bett, defending high jump champion Mathew Sawe and walking race duo Samuel Gathimba and Grace Wanjiru.
Kenyan trials are notorious for producing hitherto unknowns, who often treat established world-class stars with disdain and the three-day national trial which will run from June 21-23 will take place at the Kasarani Stadium.