James Magayi @magayijim
Top Kenyan athletes are expected at Thika Stadium today and tomorrow as curtains come down on Athletics Kenya (AK) Track and Field weekend meetings in Kiambu County.
Thika will host the seventh and final leg of the annual series before paving way for counties and affiliates of AK to select their teams for National Championships where Kenya will come up with a team to fly the nation’s flag in Asaba, Nigeria when Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) hosts the African Championships.
With the Commonwealth Games dispensed with, CAA African Championship is the only jamboree remaining this year other than IAAF Diamond League and World Challenges that are purely invitational. Kenyan bigwigs are expected to troop to the Nigerian city for a chance to bag medals and Thika is a necessary stopover in that quest.
An impressive entry list in Thika places sharp focus in the less emphasised events, specifically sprints where a track rivalry between siblings Mike Mokamba and Walter Moenga is expected to take centre stage.
The sons of legendary Kenyan sprinter Elikanah Nyangau will try to outdo each other in 100m and 200m races, both having held the national records in recent past.
Moenga, the older of the two, has recovered from a two-year injury-forced hiatus and is raring to show his brother who really is boss. Mokamba thrived in his elder brother’s absence, clocking hand timed 9.9 seconds over 100m in 2015 and 20.2 seconds in 200m.
He also set 10.23 record over 100m and 20.48 in 200m to claim the national records before Mark Odhiambo emerged to lower the times.
In their sibling rivalry, the brothers will have contend with Odhiambo who is fighting hard to regain his form following a trailblazing 2017 season in which he became the only Kenyan to qualify for the IAAF World Championships 100m.