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READY FOR SHOWDOWN: moenga, taki to headline ak relays series

ATHLETICS By Dennis Okeyo | February 24th 2017
Kumari Taki wins the 1500m men during the National Junior Trials Championship at Nyayo stadium on June 22, 2016.[PHOTO:DENNIS OKEYO/STANDARD]

Former national 100m champion Walter Moenga and IAAF World Steeplechase junior champion Kumari Taki will headline the first leg of the Athletics Kenya National Relays Series at Nairobi West Prisons Grounds tomorrow.

The national athletics body will be using the relays meetings as a build up towards the selection of Team Kenya to the third edition of World Relays Championships in Nassau, Bahamas in April.

The open event will see runners’ participates in 4x100, 4x200m, 4x400, 4x800 and mixed relays. The other four meeting will be held at the same venues from March 4 with final leg, an invite only being stage in April 1, at Nyayo Stadium which is currently undergoing renovation.

Moenga, 28, a member of 4x200m quartet that finished fifth at the inaugural World Relays in 2014 will be competing for the first time since 2015 following an ankle injury and is currently based in South Africa where he underwent platelet infiltration which was arranged by his new manager Farai Msika.

“I am extremely happy to be back on track after two years of frustrations. I have been training in South Africa for five months now as I undergo rehabilitation on the injury had. I am glad the progress is good. I am here for a month before going back to SA and looking forward to relays series” Moenga told to FeverPitch.

Having graduated to senior ranks, Taki, a former student of Ntimama Secondary school in Narok County and World Junior champion will be using the series as part of his preparation for London’s World Champion.

“I am now ready to compete with big boys in 3,000m steeplechase. And I will be using these relay meetings to sharpen my speed ahead of World Championship trials” said Taki who is coached by Jacob Langat in Nyahururu.

The 800m runner Ferguson Rotich, who won gold medal at the first Relays championship in 2014 alongside Sammy Kibet , Job Kinyor and Alfred Kipketer said he will be using the relays series as his buildup for forthcoming IAAF World Champion in London championship later this year.

“Last season wasn’t the best for me, it ended with an incident at Rio Olympics that made me run badly in the end. But now, I hope to make it the Relays championship in Bahamas because I want to use it as my world championship preparation” said Rotich.

Kenya’s top female 400m sprinter Maureen Jelagat will not be available for the first relays meeting due to family commitment while youngster Maureen Thomas is expected to compete tomorrow.

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