A revamped Kenya Prisons Service athletics team is brimming with confidence ahead of the national athletics championship set for Kasarani on July 9-11.
The championships will be another mouthwatering affair between National Police Service, Kenya Defence Forces and the new look Prisons.
Universities and Colleges will be adding flair to the event, plus the counties who will also be lining up top athletes.
Ahead of the highly competitive championships, Prisons have recruited heavily and will be hoping to emerge top in the competition.
They now boast of a number of world beaters in their stable after the arrival of 19-year-old Lucy Cheruiyot, 2015 Paris Marathon bronze medallist Visiline Jepkesho, reigning Paris marathon champion Mark Korir, 1500m specialist and IAAF World relay medley silver medalist Timothy Cheruiyot.
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They also have Anthony Chemut and Africa Cross Country silver medallist Cornelius Kangongo.
Other athletes who have joined Prisons include: Evans Kipkorir (800m), Geoffrey Kipngetich (400m), Michael Ngugi (100m) Kevin Kiprotich (400m), Peter Lagat, Wilson Kiprotich (10,000m) and Pius Muiya (200m).
Lucy Cheruiyot, who was in stunning form when she took top honours in both women’s 5,000m and 10,000m as a guest runner for Nyanza region at the Prisons Championship two weeks ago, was immediately signed after the event and has reported to Kenya Prisons Staff Training College.
“I’m really happy to join Prisons. I will now fully concentrate and step up my training as I look forward to the national championships.
I am also hoping to clinch a ticket to the IAAF World Championship in Beijing in August,” said Lucy.
Just like Police who have pitched camp at Waumini Hostels along Thika Road, Prisons team has set up residential camp at Bomas of Kenya ahead of national championship.
Prisons’ Senior Deputy Commissioner and Athletics Kenya Prisons branch chairman Benjamin Njoga put his opponents on notice.
“We have a short and long-term plan to revamp athletics in the Kenya Prisons Service.
“We are getting a lot of support from the commissioner and within no time, our opponents will see much improvement from us.
Njoga said: “We have taken this championship very seriously, and our rivals better look out for us.
Currently we are enjoying the support of Prisons sports council and Commissioner General Isaiah Osugo.
Athletes will be using the national championship to gauge their performance before heading to the invitation only national trials to be held on July 31 and August 1 also at Kasarani.
The national trials will be used to select teams that will represent Kenya at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China on August 22-30 as well as the All Africa Games that will be held in Congo, Brazzaville on September 3-19.