Kenyans keen to shine at 2018 Club Games
New Year will be busy for track athletes once again.
After a successful 2017, Kenya’s track athletes are set for busy 2018 season, with five global and two continental championships on the line.
Kenya will send a 132-strong delegation to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games on April 8-15, according to the Chef de Mission Barnabas Korir with athletics having the largest number of participants, 65 runners.
To set the ball rolling, National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) has already presented a tentative budget of Sh450 million to the Government to help in preparation and honouring the games.
Early last month Korir travelled to Australia and inspected various sporting zones where Kenyans will compete. And at the same time, the Paul Tergat led NOCK set up a team of experts to help raise funds - the Marketing and Fundraising Commission that will oversee the management of National NOCK funds.
Kenya will be optimistic of increasing her medal count it collected at the Glasgow 2014 of 10 gold, 10 silvers and five bronze.
IAAF World Indoor Championships
Having won the 3,000m and 1,500m series in 2017, World 5000m champion Hellen Obiri and compatriot Bethwel Birgen were given direct entry by the IAAF to this year’s World Indoor Championships set for Birmingham, England on March 1-4. Obiri will be aiming to recapture the title she won in 2012 in Istanbul, Turkey.
World Half Marathon
World Half Marathon record-holder Joyciline Jepkosgey, the road running sensation who broke six world records in a span of six months last year has expressed her hopes of making the Kenyan squad to the IAAF World Half Marathon slated for March 24, in Valencia, Spain.
After claiming his maiden marathon victory during the New York City Marathon in November, Geoffrey Kamworor announced his willingness to defend his World Half Marathon title next year.
Kamworor will hope to make it a hat-trick of titles at the event having won the 2016 edition in Cardiff, Scotland despite falling at the start of the race in an atrocious conditions. His compatriot Bedan Karoki finished second.
Kenya will be hunting glory at the 2018 IAAF World Under-20 championships in Tampere, Finland on July 10-15. The bulk Kenya’s team that participated at the World Under-18 championship in Nairobi earlier this year are expected to make the team to the Southern Finland.
At the 2016 edition held in Bydgoszcz, Poland, Kenya won 9 medals – 5 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze.
Kipyegon Bett (800m), Kumari Taki (1500m), Rodgers Kwemoi (10000m), Celliphine Chepteek (3000m Steeplechase) and Amos Kirui (3000m Steeplechase) all won gold medals.
Youth Olympics Games
Kenya will also mount an attack at the 3rd edition of Youth Olympics Games set for October 6-18 in Argentina which will mark the end of track and field season championships.
Africa Cross Country Championships
Back to continental arena, the action begins with 5th edition of Africa Cross Country Championships in Chlef, Algeria on March 17.
At the 4th edition of the African Cross Country Championship in Yaounde, Cameroon in 2016, Kenyan athletes won every available title – and 10 of the 12 individual medals on offer and are expected to continue with the same fate in Algeria.
James Rungaru and Alice Aprot were in a class of their own producing convincing victories. In the junior ranks, 1,500m specialist Miriam Cherop from Bomet County and Isaac Kipsang were the junior champions.
Africa Senior Athletics Championships
Assaba, Nigeria will host the 21st edition of the Confederation of African Athletics Africa Senior Athletics Championships on August 1-5.