Kenya to send 55 athletes for Africa
Kenya’s contingent to this year’s African Senior Athletics Championships in Reduit, Mauritius will depart on Sunday, June 5.
Assistant team manager Jackson Kwemoi who is also North Rift Athletics Kenya (AK) chairman said a total of 55 athletes and 20 officials are part of the contingent.
Kenya is looking forward to defending the title they last won in 2018 at Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba Nigeria and has set sight on dominating the biannual track and field showpiece.
“We are focused on taking all the medals, this is a big team from Kenya. We are a team of 55 athletes and we are ready. I am keeping our team together with my team manager Ainsworth Maragara and we are focused on what we are going to do there” Kwemoi told People Sport.
“The team’s fitness is well and we are hoping that our athletes will perform well in the championships “ he added.
“We are hoping that God will guide us and emerge victorious,”
A blend of experienced and promising individuals will be flying the Kenyan flag in pursuit of medals at the 22nd edition of the championships from June 8 to 12 at the brand-new Côte d’Or National Sports Complex which is considered one of the best stadiums in Africa.
The team which was named after three days of enthralling competition at Kasarani Stadium in April entails the who is who in Kenya’s athletics cycle where Olympians, Commonwealth Games and World Champions are taking their expertise to the continental championships.
In the 3000m, steeplechase is Abraham Kibiwott and Geofrey Kirwa. In the 5000m, women’s race Beatrice Chebet and Caroline Nyaga will fly the Kenya flag while in the men’s category it will be Daniel Simiu and Ismael Kirui.
Alice Aprot and Judy Komen will lead the 10,000m women’s team while the men’s category is headlined by the duo of Kenneth Kiprop and Julius Chepkwony.
In the 20km men’s walk race, Samuel Gathimba and Heristone Wanyonyi will be in contention.
The 2015 African Games 100m silver medallist Eunice Kadogo was included in the women’s 100m and 200m teams while the national record holder Hellen Syombua, was slotted in the women’s 400m team.
Kadogo will partner with national record holder Maximilla Imali and Monica Safania in 100m while she will be with Imali and Millicent Ndoro in 200m with the four making the 4x100m team alongside youngster Mercy Chebet.
The 2014 and 2018 Africa javelin champion Julius Yego is back to defend his title in a javelin team that also has Alexander Kiprotich and newcomer Methusela Kiprop.
The 2018 Africa Under 18 javelin champion Martha Musai is in the women’s javelin throw while the national hammer throw record holder Linda Oseso is back on the team after a decade.
Oseso, who competed at the 2010 and 2012 Africa Championships, finishing fifth on both occasions, will team up with national champion Lucy Omondi and Roselyn Rakamba.
Mauritius had previously hosted two editions of the African Championship at the Stade Anjalay, Belle Vue Maurel from June 25 to 28, 1992; and at the Stade Germain-Comarmond, Bambous from August 9 to 13, 2006. The Mauritius Championships were originally scheduled to take place in Algeria in 2020 but were put on hold after the outbreak of coronavirus
Nigeria stepped in to host the tournament in 2021, but also withdrew at the last minute.
During the 2018 edition held in Nigeria, Kenya swept a total of 19 medals, made up of 11 gold, six silver and two bronze medals and was the overall winner beating defending champions, South Africa and host, Nigeria, to the second and third positions respectively.
South Africa, who hosted and won the 20th edition in Durban, won a total of 30 medals made up of nine gold, 13 silver and eight bronze medals. Nigeria got 19 medals made up of nine gold, five silver and five bronze medals.
Morocco, Ethiopia, Cote d’ivoire, Tunisia and Botswana followed in that order