AK postpones World Championships trials

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Athletics Kenya (AK) has pushed the trials for the IAAF World Championships from this month to September 12-13 at the Nyayo National Stadium.

A statement from AK on Tuesday indicated that the National Championships that was to coincide with the trials from August 20-22 will go on as scheduled.

However, the statement clarified that AK will use the National Championships to select the men and women’s 10,000m teams for the World Championships planned from September 28- October 6 in Doha.

AK said the changes have been effected at the request of top elite athletes, some of whom have engagements in the IAAF Diamond League series in Europe.

AK Committee member Barnaba Korir noted that the trials were planned at a time Birmingham Grand Prix and Paris legs of the Diamond League were slated to take place on August 18 and August 24 respectively.

“Athletics Kenya has taken these requests into consideration and will, therefore, hold this event on the said dates to give the athletes an opportunity to compete in these leagues and gain points for the finals,” said the statement.

Zurich and Brussels legs scheduled for August 29 and September 6 will act as the Diamond League finals.

“For sure it’s wise if we are to give them an opportunity not only to make money but also compete in their favourite events,” said AK committee member Barnaba Korir.

The trials will be on invitation only and Korir indicated that the selection criteria will not change despite change of dates.

“We want to have the selection of 10,000m at the Nationals since we want to give the athletes enough time to rest and train for the Doha battle, “said Korir.

AK president Jackson Tuwei had during the briefing on the selection criteria clarified that defending World champions and 2018 Diamond League will not have automatic slots or wild cards to the World Championships.

Tuwei disclosed that they must compete with the rest to earn places in the team during the national trials where the first three athletes to cross the line would make the team.

Kenya has seven athletes who will either be defending their titles in Doha or won the Diamond League (DL) Series in 2018.

They are World champions Conseslus Kipruto (3,000m steeplechase), Elijah Manangoi (1,500m), Hellen Obiri (5,000m) and Faith Chepng’etich (1,500m). Kipruto also won DL Series last year.

Among the first top athletes to have confirmed their participation at the IAAF Diamond League final in Zürich is Kenya’s world steeplechase record holder Beatrice Chepkoech.

Kenya’s World and Commonwealth 1,500m silver medallist Timothy Cheruiyot and Vincent Kibet will be at the IAAF Diamond League final in Brussels.

Meanwhile, the 2020 Prefontaine Classic will take place at the new Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon on June 5-6.

The event will, once again, showcase the world’s best track and field athletes and be part of the IAAF Diamond League.

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