AK invites six runners to 800m Olympic trials

Athletics Kenya has given special clearance to top six finishers in women 800m race at the national championships to compete on Saturday during the country’s track and field trials to select the Olympic team to London Games.

 David Okeyo, AK Secretary General, said the six will be joined by Olympic champion Pamela Jelimo and silver medallist Janeth Jepkosgei in the race, where the top three earns a ticket to Olympics.

“We have invited the six so that they may give Jelimo and Jepkosgei the challenge,” said Okeyo.

With the Olympics qualifying time set at 1:59.90, achieved between May 11 last year to July this year, both Eunice Sum (pictured) and Cherono Koech have registered the required time in the last trials in Nairobi to select the Kenya team to Daegu, South Korea World Championships.

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Sum was second behind Jepkosgei in 1:59.66 while Koech was third in 1:59.68. This year Sum has run 1:59.94 in finishing seventh at Doha while Koech was ninth in 2:01.20 in the race won by Jelimo.

Both Sum and Koech have been invited to the trials having finished in the top six at the National championships. Another athlete who might also clinch an Olympic qualifying mark in the trials is former World Junior champion Lydia Wafula, who is on a comeback trail after motherhood.

Sum won the national championships in 1:59.75 at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani with runner-up Jane Jelagat (2:00.90) and Silvia Chesebe (2:01.21) in toe. Lydia Wafula was fourth in 2:01.24, ahead of Cherono Koech 2:02.38, Winnie Chebet 2:02.78 and Jepleting Busienei 2:02.99

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Okeyo also said that other events in middle distance, which have over 15 qualifiers will have a pre-trial race on Thursday at Nyayo National Stadium, to pick the finalists who will compete on Saturday.

Meanwhile Okeyo said financial constraints might force AK to trim down the national team to the 18th edition of the Africa Senior Athletics Championships in Porto Nova. Kenya has named 44 athletes but the AK secretary general said only 40 may be travelling to Benin.

SEE ALSO :AK cancels this year’s Mombasa marathon

The team, will be confirmed on Monday and entered in the championships. They start residential training on Wednesday at the Kasarani and depart for Benin on June 24.

Olympic 5,000m champion Eliud Kipchoge together with Geoffrey Kirui and Lucas Kimeli Rotich are Kenya’s representatives in the 10,000m. They were picked in Eugene, Oregon on June 2.

However, Okeyo said participation of the trio is pegged on them failing to make the Olympics team in 5,000m distance, where they will be competing in the trials on Saturday. Standby athletes waiting to fill their vacancy are Kenneth Kipkemoi, and Lewis Mosoti.

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Athletics Kenya 800m women