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Focus on relay team’s qualification as they head to Texas

Amos Abuga @PeopleSports11

Kenya will send a team of 24 athletes to Texas, USA on Wednesday with the headline being the 4x400m men’s team trying to meet the qualifying time for the World Relay Championships to be held from May 11-12 in Yokohoma, Japan.

The men’s 4x400m that set a championship record of 3:00.92 minutes, to win gold during the 2018 Africa Championships in Assaba, Nigeria is yet to meet the qualifying time of  3:05.00 as the International Athletics Association Federation (IAAF) declined to ratify the time from Assaba, citing a reason that the track was not standard.

Team manager for the World Relays Daniel Payaban says the team of Alex Sampao, Collins Omae, Alphas Kishoyan, Joseph Sanare, and Kenneth Kimeu have one last chance to make it to the championships.

Grace period

“Initially, Athletics Kenya (AK) had requested IAAF to give Kenya a grace period until April 27 to have men’s 4x400m athletes qualify for the world event from events across the continent before the April 20 deadline but they declined.

However they have since softened their heart and Kenya therefore will have the last shot in the USA,” said Payaban who is also the AK KDF chairman. Payaban does not understand how the IAAF could fail to ratify the championships time set by the team of Jared Momanyi, Alphas Kishoyian, Aron Koech and Emmanuel Korir in Nigeria last year.

“I still maintain Kenya is the aggrieved party in this case, since it was never our fault that the said track was not up to standard, credit should be given to our athletes who set a championships record. It is sad that all the times set at the Stephen Keshi Stadium are null and void,” he lamented.

Also going to the USA is the 4x100m teams and the newly introduced shuttle hurdles relay teams events AK had initially said they will not field teams.

“I think it is fair to give all the athletes a fair opportunity to prove themselves,” he said, adding that there are no qualifying times for the other events.

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