After storming to Africa Senior Athletics Championships glory on a medal-filled final day of the continental showpiece in Cote d’Or, Mauritius, Kenya now shifts its focus to World Championships in Oregon, United States on July 15-24.
Kenya topped the medal standings yet again with 23 medals; 10 gold, five silver and eight bronze.
We take a look at how they performed in each event and their chances going into the World Championships National trials on June 24-25 at Kasarani Stadium.
For each event at the world athletics championships, each federation (country) is allowed to enter up to three athletes. For relay races, the maximum number of entries is one team per nation.
Wild card entries are reserved only for reigning world champions and winners of certain high-priority athletics events from last year like the Diamond League, Continental Tour - Hammer Throw, Race Walk Challenge and Combined Events Challenge.
Ferdinand Omanyala struck two gold medal at the Africa Athletics Championships, winning men’s 100m after 32 years of waiting and anchoring the country’s 4x100m team to victory.
The on-form Omanyala has run several sub-10 seconds this season and with World championships qualification standard set at 10.05s, he has already secured the big-ticket global championship In Oregon.
Kenya’s women top sprinters including Maximilla Imali, Monica Safania and Eunice Kadogo, who represented the country in Mauritius, will have to dig deep at the Kenyan trials to get the world championship time pegged at 11.15s
Imali won silver in 23.43s and with her season best time of 23.37, she will have to be in top shape to get the 22.8s, a time set for the world championships. Millicent Ndoro, a semi-finalist in Mauritius, will also be eyeing the global ticket at the trials.
Veronica Mutua was the only podium finisher at the Africa Championships in 400m, timing 52.76s to get the bronze medal.
Men’s team of Collins Omae and William Rayan failed to progress to the finals. Both were eyeing to utilise the low attitude in Mauritius to get the qualification standards of 44.9s.
Jarinta Mwasya won gold in 2:02.80 and with a season best of 1:59.84, she has a chance of lowering her time to 1:59.50s.
Nicholas Kiplagat won silver in men’s 800m in 1:46.43. He will be battling for the Oregon ticket against Ferguson Rotich, Emmanuel Wanyunyi, Michael Saruni, among others at the trials. World Championships time is set at 1:45.20s.
World indoor bronze medallist Abel Kipsang claimed his first gold medal at the African Athletics Championships with victory in men’s 1500 metres.
Kipsang, also fourth in the event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, lived up to expectations as he crossed the line first in a time of 3.36.57sec.
Kipsang will be up against Kumari Taki, among others. Timothy Cheruiyot has a wildcard by virtue of being defending champion.
Winny Chebet and Purity Chepkirui won gold and bronze respectively with Brenda Chebet, narrowly missing out the podium in fourth place.
The 2018 World Under-20 champion Beatrice Chebet crossed the line in 15:00.82 to win gold medal ahead of arch-rival Ethiopia’s Belayneh Fentaye Azale (15:01.89) and fellow countrywoman Caroline Nyaga (15:05.34).
With the women’s time of 15:10.00s, many Kenyans have already attained the qualification and will be battling for 1-2-3 finish. Kenya will be sending four athletes to this event given that Hellen Obiri, who is the defending champion, has a wildcard.
Daniel Simiu took the silver medal behind Hailemariyam Amare from Ethiopia. Many men have attained the qualification standard of 13:13.50s. Some of the Kenyan stars include include Michael Kibet, Nicholas Kimeli and Jacob Krop, among others.
Caroline Nyaga struck gold in women’s 10,000m, her second medal at the championship and will be among the long-distance women runners gunning for the Oregon slot.
Abraham Longosiwa won bronze in the corresponding men’s event in 29:24.41 and will be gunning for a world championship slot.
Caren Chebet won bronze in the water and barrier race behind Ethiopians Werkuha Getachew and Zerfe Wondmagegn.
Chebet will take her podium finish to the national trials with an aim of making her senior global showpiece.
Geoffrey Kirwa made his maiden national team appearance with a bronze medal and he’ll be up against Conselus Kipruto, Abraham Kibiwott, Leonard Bett, among others, at the national meet.
The Kenya quartet of Mike Mokamba, Ferdinand Omanyala, Dan Kiviasi and Samuel Imeta defeated beat South Africa, smashing the country’s long-standing national record 39.28.
Wiseman Mukhobe produced a podium finish, winning bronze medal in 50.48 behind Sokwakhana Zazini from South Africa who won gold, while Algerian Abdelmalik Lahoulou took home silver.
Going to the world championship Kenyan trials, Mukhobe will be aiming to get 48.9s time set for world championships.
20km race walk
Samuel Gathimba and Emily Ngii won their respective 20km race. Gathimba sealed his third consecutive men’s title at the continental level having emerged victorious at the 2016 in Durban, South Africa and 2018 Ababa, Nigeria.
Ngii reclaimed the women’s title that Kenya lost to Ethiopia in Ababa, Nigeria in 2018.
Rio 2016 silver medallist Julius Yego was victorious as he bagged his fourth javelin title after throwing a distance of 79.62m. He defeated Egyptian Ihab Abdelrahman and South African Phillippus Janse van Rensburg completed the podium.
Yego’s victory throw of 79.62 still fell short of the world qualification standard of 85metres.