Champ Manangoi out of Nyayo Worlds trials

(L-R) Kenya’s Kumari Taki, Elijah Motonei Manangoi and Timothy Cheruiyot compete in the athletics men’s 1500m final during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at the Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast on April 14, 2018. [AFP]

With Olympics, world and Diamond League Trophy champions at the Athletics Kenya World Championships Trials, the two-day event at Nyayo Stadium on Thursday and Friday promises a thrilling action.

The selection was previously scheduled to be held on August 20-22 in Nairobi, but AK pushed it forward to enable athletes compete in Diamond League circuit that ended last week.

Kenya intends to pick 70 athletes for the global championships in Doha, which kicks off on September 27 to October 6.

However, Elijah Manangoi, the 1,500m reigning champion will miss the trials after sustaining an injury in training, but he is fairly optimistic he will be ready for Doha.

With Manangoi out, Timothy Cheruiyot, who has been in outstanding form this season winning his third consecutive Diamond League title and looks as favourite to win the World title will again line up in the men’s 1500m finals.

Other runners eyeing the slots include Charles Simotwo, World Under 20 champion George Manangoi, 2015 world Under-20 champion Kumari Taki among others.

 “I have an injury which I have been advised by my doctors not to strain it, that is why I missed out on the Diamond League finals in Brussels. I will, therefore, not run at the trials to give my ankle more time to heal. I sure it will be fully healed in the next few weeks before Doha event,” Manangoi told Standard Sports.

He added: “Certainly, there is pressure on me because I’m the defending champion and so all eyes will be on me. I hope to give it my best shot.” 

Meanwhile, World long jump record-holder and two-time world champion Mike Powell has been named an ambassador for the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019.

With three weeks to go to the IAAF’s premiere showcase event, set for 27 September to 6 October, Powell said he can’t wait for action to get underway at the Qatari capital’s state-of-the-art Khalifa Stadium.

“I’m very excited to be attending my 11th World Championships: three of those as an athlete and eight as an IAAF Ambassador,” said Powell, whose appearance at the 1991 edition in Tokyo, his first at a World Championships, resulted in one of the most legendary long jump competitions of all time.

In Tokyo, Powell prevailed in a classic head-to-head brawl against long-time rival Carl Lewis, sailing 8.95m in the fifth round to break Bob Beamon’s vaunted 8.90m world record, set nearly 23 years earlier at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City.

Powell’s record has now stood even longer, passing the test of time. He successfully defended his title two years later in Stuttgart and took bronze in 1995, his final appearance at the World Championships.