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Triathletes to battle for Paris Olympics slots in Kilifi

Unique Sports
 Josette Njeri in action during the 2022 Commonwealth Games and Youth African Games triathlon qualifiers at the the Karen Water Front, Nairobi on March 13 2022. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Top elite triathletes from several countries are set to engage in fierce battles as they fight tooth and nail to secure points for next year's Olympic games in Paris, France.

Kenyan athletes led by Joseph Okal and Aisha Nasser who took part in last year's Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, UK will also be in the fight.

The battle for the Paris games will be during the 2023 African Cup at the Bofa Beach Hotel in Kilifi County on November 26 where elite triathletes will be out to secure more points to improve on their world ranking.

Kenya Triathlon Federation Secretary Salonika ole Koyiet said yesterday that Kenya will be represented by eight men and six women in the elite category which also has foreign athletes from Luxembourg, Austria, Japan, Indonesia, Egypt, Morocco, Germany, United Arabs Emirates, Ukraine, Mauritius and Zimbabwe.

Okal will lead the Kenyan men's team that comprises John Paul Makona, Mohammed Seleiman and Victor Telo among others.

The ladies team in the elite category has Aisha, Vivian Hillier, Josette Kiarie Njeri, Megan Irungu, Nadia Ndibo and Iman Kaiza.

" The Kenyan top cream triathletes will be out to gain more points to improve on their world ranking and enhance their chances of qualifying for the Paris Olympic games next year," said Koyiet

He said Kilifi County government and the Ministry of Sports have partnered with the federation to support the event.

"All the arrangements are in top gear and the course is in perfect condition. The athletes will go through the beautiful canopies and the famous Mkilifi trees in an effort to outdo each other in the road race," said Koyiet.

In the men's category, Africa's ninth-ranked Mohamad Elshafei from Egypt will face it out with Morocco's fourth continentally ranked Badr Siwane alongside Stefan Zachaus from Luxembourg who is ranked 157 globally.

Other top men athletes who have confirmed their participation are world 153-ranked German national Gregor Payet and Japan's Toshiki Sakakibara who is ranked 205 globally.

In the women's category, Ukrainian Kseniia Lavkovska who is ranked 221 globally will also be in Kilifi to battle for the Paris slots. Africa's 11th-ranked Andie Kuipers from Zimbabwe and Mauritius Julie Staub ranked eighth in the continent will also be in action.

Koyiet also said there will be non-African races to run on November 25 before paying the way to the elite event the following day.

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