Police, Prisons, KDF and civilians lock horns

By Denis Okeyo: Wednesday, June 20th 2018 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Athletics
Raymond Kibet durinh his training session at Nyayo Stadium. [PHOTO/DENNIS OKEYO, STANDARD]

Top guns will battle it out in the chase for slots to the 21st Africa Senior Athletics Championships that run in Asaba, Nigeria, on August 1-5.

Kenyan trials are notorious for producing hitherto unknowns, who often treat established world-class stars with disdain and the three-day selections, which start in Kasarani Stadium tomorrow, cannot be ruled out.

There are plentiful of mouth-watering clashes on the cards as world cross country champion Geoffrey Kamworor, a police corporal, lead fellow cops in staging arrests; former national 400m champion Alphas Kishoyian marshal Kenya Defence Forces troops while Africa 10,000m champion Alice Aprot prepare to send to jail her opponents.

The battle between US-based runners Raymond Kibet and Emmanuel Korir in 800m will no doubt send adrenaline levels running high.

Kibet, a petroleum engineering student at Tulane University in New Orleans in USA, said injuries ruled him out early in the season.

“I target to run 44 seconds this season but I picked hamstring injury. It’s responding well and I hope to give my best in the trials,” said Kibet.

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Kibet, who won the third leg of the IAAF Diamond League in Eugene, will battle it out with former national champion Alphas Kishoyian, Boniface Mweresa and Collins Omae.

With the absence of Olympic 800m champion David Rudisha, the 22-year-old Kibet will lead a legion of upcoming stars that include Commonwealth Games champion Wycliffe Kinyamal and former IAAF Diamond League Trophy winner Ferguson Rotich.

Police will bank on World and Commonwealth Games 1,500m Elijah Manangoi, who will be up against his training mate and world silver medalist Timothy Cheruiyot of Kenya Prisons Service.

Olympic 800m bronze medalist Margaret Nyairera of Prisons will anchor women’s two-lap race.

Commonwealth Games 3,000m silver medalist Celliphine Chespol of Prisons will take on Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Purity Cherotich and Beatrice Chepkoech of Police.

Prisons’ Wilfred Kimitei, the Africa 10,000m silver medalist, will marshal forces with three-time Corrida Pedestre Internationale de Houilles 10km road race champion Cornelius Kangogo against KDF’s Stephen Arita.  

In men’s 5,000m, KDF will bank on youngster Vedic Cheruiyot and Cyrus Ruto, the national champion.

KDF’s Pauline Korikwang’ and Joycline Jepkosgei, the world 21km record holder, will team up in women’s 10,000m against Alice Aprot of Kenya prisons Service.

Apart from the Police, KDF and Prison, stiff challenge is expected from Athletics Kenya regions of South Rift, Central Rift, North Rift and Southern.