Adrenaline levels are running high after Athletics Kenya released names of 160 athletes for the World Championships Trials set for 7-8 July at Nyayo Stadium.
With Kenya grappling with doping problems, the two-day Track and Field meet will be held under strict guidelines of Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).
The county is placed in Category A under the Anti-Doping Rules of World Athletics, which means the country’s athletes must undergo at least three no-notice, out-of-competition urine and blood tests before major events.
There are currently seven Category A countries, including Belarus, Ethiopia and Ukraine.
According to the AIU, 66 Kenyan athletes are currently on the global ineligible athlete list with Kenyan government pledging $5 million (Sh703m) per year for the next five years to help fight the vice.
AK and AIU have spelled out stiff requirement for trials selections that includes; all invited athletes to be selected including wild card holders, the athletes will be required to make a commitment upon selection by signing a commitment form.
The athletes invited for trials are required to come with their passports and identity cards.
The selected athletes will be accommodated after trials for purposes of documentation and other administration requirements, something that has not happened before.
After selection the athletes will be expected to abide by the national team camp rules and regulations.
AK president Jackson Tuwei said: “All the athletes participating during the trials should personally collect their own bib numbers on Thursday July 6, 2023 at Nyayo Stadium starting from 9am to 6pm. Any athlete who fails to collect their bib numbers on the day indicated above will not be allowed to participate at the trials."
Kenyan trials are notorious for producing hitherto unknowns, who often treat established world-class stars with disdain and this year's edition will not be different as athletes jostle for tickets to the World Championships in Budapest next month.
World cross country champion Beatrice Chebet is the top favourite in the 5000m where she will fight for a place in the Kenyan.
Chebet will however face stern test as she will be facing the world record over the distance Faith Kipyegon who has a wild card in the 1,500m after she won the world title in Eugene, Oregon in 2021.
Apart from Kipyegon and Chebet, others who are listed in the 5,000m start list include Lilian Kasait and Margaret Chelimo.
Commonwealth gold medalist Mary Moraa should be unchallenged in the 800m but there are the likes of Naomi Korir and Susan Ejore who could upset the formbook.
In the men’s 800m, Olympic and world champion Emmanuel Korir, who has a wild card will battle world leader Emmanuel Wanyonyi and Wycliffe Kinyamal.