James Magayi @magayijim
Sixty slots in Kenya’s Commonwealth Games team will be up for grabs this Saturday when Athletics Kenya hosts the Club Games trials at Kasarani Stadium.
A panel of selectors composed of coaches from AK will pick two or three athletes to represent Kenya in various track and field disciplines during the 21st edition of Commonwealth Games slated for April 4-15 in Gold Coast, Australia.
The erstwhile athletes apathy for Commonwealth could see Olympic Games 10,000m bronze medallist Paul Tanui locked out having missed the deadline for accreditation. National Cross Country champion Stacy Ndiwa and former world silver medallist in 1,500m Thomas Longosiwa are equally late for accreditation and Athletics Kenya through the National Olympic Committee has pleaded with Commonwealth Games organisers to consider a number of late requests. Hurdles duo Nicholas Bett and Boniface Mucheru (400m) will star in the trials as will fast-rising Kipyegon Bett and former World junior men champion Alfred Kipketer.
“The deadline for athletes’ registration and accreditation elapsed a while back but we have put in a request for a number of our runners. We have crossed fingers awaiting response but the organisers also want our best team to participate so there is hope.”
Athletics Kenya Public Relations director Evans Bosire said yesterday. The majority of globally-acclaimed names have nonetheless given the trials a wide berth leaving second string runners to slug it out with a handful stardust names humble enough for the Club Games.
“We are talking to some athletes with a view to convincing them to seek accreditation and participate in the trials and we’ll definitely inform you of new names accepted by Commonwealth Games organisers. All the same, we still have a decent team capable of winning many medals,” Bosire said.
Women 800m has a rich field comprising Olympic bronze medallist Margaret Nyairera, 2013 World champion Eunice Sum and veteran Janet Jepkosgei. Owing to the disinterest in Commonwealth Games, just over 200 track and field athletes have expressed interest in Saturday’s trials, a precedence that forced AK to reduce the trials from two days to one.