Kenya has promised to send their top stars to this year’s African Senior Athletics Championship to be staged in Asaba, Delta State. Over 60 Kenyan athletes are expected to take part in the 21st edition of the Championship slated for August 1-5.
After a not too encouraging outing at the last Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, Kenya are looking to make a big statement in Asaba with their ‘A’ athletes
Athletics Kenya President Jack Tuwei said they will take the Asaba 2018 event seriously since the top two runners from each discipline will qualify for the IAAF Continental Cup scheduled in Ostrava, the Czech Republic on September 8-9.
Kenya finished second overall in the last edition two years ago in Durban, South Africa, clinching eight gold, eight silver and eight bronze medals.
Host South Africa reigned supreme with 33 medals while Nigeria was third with 16 medals.
“The Intercontinental Cup is the biggest competition and we want most of our athletes to qualify. That is why we are keen to have the strongest team selected on merit to travel to Nigeria,” Tuwei was quoted as saying in the Kenyan media.
Top athletes led by World 1,500m champion Elijah Manangoi, 800m Commonwealth winner Wycliffe Kinyamal and Helen Obiri, the Olympic 5,000m silver medalist are all expected to make the cut for the championships.
Kenya will host a three-day national trials in Nairobi between June 21st to 23rd to select her team to Asaba. Olympic bronze and Commonwealth Games 800m silver medalist Margaret Nyairera has confirmed she will compete in the 400m.
Also, World Cross Country silver medalist Alice Aprot says she wants to atone missing the Commonwealth Games with victory at the Africa Athletics Championships in Asaba in August.
Aprot, who won the 10,000m race during the Africa championships two years ago in Durban is positive she would successfully defend her title in Asaba.
She would, however, brace up for stiff opposition from other top names like Sandrafelis Chebet, Stacy Ndiwa, and Beatrice Mutai among others.
Aside from Kenya, it is understood that the likes of South Africa and of course host, Nigeria are also planning big for Asaba 2018.
Meanwhile, the Main Organizing Committee of the Asaba 2018 will test run the Stephen Keshi Stadium, venue of the event on July 18, 2018.
The Chairman of the MOC, Chief Solomon Ogba made this known when the committee came to brief the Minister of Youth and Sports Barrister Solomon Dalung on progress made so far towards the hosting of the African Championship in Asaba Delta State.