Anxiety has engulfed Athletics Kenya owing to a possible omission of the 4X400m men’s relay team from the 16th IAAF World Championships due in London, United Kingdom next month.
Without any guarantees from the IAAF, Riadha House went ahead and announced a provisional squad for the event and invited athletes to training camp in spite of Kenya failing to finish within the eight automatic qualifying positions during the World Relays in the Bahamas last year.
With just eight days left to the start of the World Championships, pressure has increased at Riadha House with concerned coaches, athletes and managers seeking answers.
“We have been waiting for IAAF to give us invitation for the 4X400m relay team but so far nothing is forthcoming. We do not know the position but we are hoping that we will get one slot,” said Athletics Kenya vice president Paul Mutwii.
Administrators of the sport are now crossing their fingers hoping Kenya will get the nod, partly, owing to the country’s ninth place ranking in the Bahamas and the relay competition requiring 16 teams at the World Championships.
A white flag from IAAF for the relay team will also help AK sort out the mess in 800m where five athletes are in camp training for an event in which only four from Kenya are required.
The scenario in the men’s 800m team is threatening to turn ugly if either Paul Ereng’ -trained Michael Saruni or 2016 Diamond Trophy winner Ferguson Rotich is dropped.
Saruni finished in the final qualifying spot during Kenya’s trials ahead of Rotich who, despite finishing fourth, had a wild card from IAAF owing to glorious Diamond League overtures last year. Mutwii said none of the athletes have been dropped as consultations are still ongoing. “We have not dropped any athlete.
We will make a decision after consulting the technical team and getting information from IAAF regarding the men’s 4X400m relay participation. Those who have a different agenda to push should stop alleging that Saruni has been dropped,” said Mutwii.