Kenyans to anchor Africa’s title bid

By JONATHAN KOMEN AND IAAF: Saturday, September 8th 2018 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Athletics
World and Olympic reigning champion Conseslus Kipruto in action [Courtesy]

Nine Kenyans will lead Africa team at the IAAF Continental Cup that start in Ostrava, Czech Republic, today.

Team members are Emmanuel Korir (800m), Elijah Manangoi (1,500m), Edward Zakayo (3,000m), Conseslus Kipruto (3,000m steeplechase), Mathew Sawe (high jump), Julius Yego (javelin), Winny Chebet  (1,500m), Hellen Obiri  (3,000m) and Beatrice Chepkoech  (3,000m steeplechase).

Former Kenyans representing mostly Asian and some European nations are expected to offer stiff challenge.

Meanwhile, the team captains for the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018 arrived in the eastern Czech city yesterday ready and eager to continue in their promotional roles ahead of this weekend’s competition.

Colin Jackson, the captain for Team Europe, Team Americas captain Mike Powell and Asia-Pacific captain Jana Pittman arrived at Ostrava Airport Wednesday evening where they were greeted by local school children each wearing the colours of the four respective teams. Africa captain Nezha Bidouane of Morocco, a two-time world champion who competed in three IAAF World Cups, arrived later in the evening.

“I’m really excited already for the competition,” said Jackson, a former world record holder in the 110m hurdles who competed in four World Cups, winning in 1992. “Of course I’ve been with my other captains travelling so there’s been a lot of competition off the field already.”

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“I love coming here to Ostrava, I was here just a few months ago,” said a two-time world long jump champion who has held the world record in the event since 1991. “I feel good, I don’t have to worry about competing myself. We have a strong team so I feel lucky.”

“I think it’ll be a great chance to come and see all the countries come together in continents,” said Pittman, a two-time world champion in the 400m hurdles from Australia, who competed in the World Cup in 2002. “You don’t get a chance to do that very often as athletes so it’ll be really nice to see the combined effort.” 

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