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SPRINTERS EYE PODIUM FINISH: Athletes in buoyant mood ahead of Africa Senior Athletics Championships in Durban

ATHLETICS By DENNIS OKEYO | June 15th 2016
From left; Aron Koech, Boniface Mucheru and William Mbevi trains at Kasarani Stadium on June 14, 2016. [PHOTO:DENNIS OKEYO/STANDARD]

With sprinters forming the bulk of Team Kenya to the African Senior Track and Field Championships in Durban, South Africa, head coach David Kitur has set the bar high for his charges.

Kitur is confident that apart from medals from long distance races, Kenya should also expect more podium finishes and national records from the sprinters.

“We have given the sprinters a chance to try and meet Olympic qualification time during the South African event. They have really improved in the last few years and with this progress, we expect good performance. Trust me, Kenyan national records will also be lowered at the championships,” said Kitur.

World Championships finalist Boniface Mucheru and his training partner Aron Koech, who have been training in South Africa at the beginning of the season, expect nothing less than medals at the event.

“I am impressed with my progress in training and I expect good results in Durban. I will be happier to win the African gold medal. I am aiming for a commendable performance, considering it will be my third time at the African championships. This will also motivate me ahead of the Olympics trials,” said Mucheru.

Sprinter Mark Otieno has shaken off an injury that he sustained at the beginning of the season, and hopes to meet the required Olympics qualifying time during the Durban meeting.

“I have been having a rough time. Too many injuries, but now, I’m delighted to be in the team. I’m now fit and my focus is to meet the Olympics qualifying time in South Africa,” said Otieno.

Meanwhile, Athletics Kenya has made some changes to the team following the withdrawal of some athletes from the Senior Athletics championships.

Winnie Chebet, Jonathan Kitilit and Nicholas Kiplagat both 800m runners, Kenneth Kipkemobi (10,000m) and Sheila Chelangat (5,000m), have opted to concentrate on their Olympics trials to be held on June 30 and July 1 at Kipchoge Stadium, Eldoret. AK have called sprinters Damaris Mbula (100m), Monica Zaphania (100m), Fresha Mwangi (100m), Jacinta Shikanda (400m) and Veronica Chebet (100m). Decathlete Gilbert Koech has also been included in the team. The team is training at Kasarani Stadium and Karura Forest. They will depart on June 20.

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