Kimeli optimistic of making final team to Tokyo Olympics

Thursday, June 17th, 2021 00:00 | By
Micheal Kibet beat Daniel Simiyu and Nicholas Kipkimeli to win men 5,000m finals during Athletics Kenya National Championships at Nyayo Stadium. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

Former Africa junior Champion Nicholas Kimeli is hopeful he will make the team for Tokyo Olympics, despite the strong field of elite athletes taking part in the cut throat trials, referred to as on of the toughest races in the world.

Kimeli who won the junior continental title in 2017, is one of the top athletes who have been invited for the the national trials, which begin today at Moi Stadium, Kasarani.

He will be racing in one of the two semi-finals of the men’s 5,000m with the hope of reaching Saturday’s final where team Kenya will be named for the July 23 to August 8 Olympic Games.

Kimeli is keen on building on his fifth-place finish at the World Championships in Doha in 2019.

Kimeli, who grew up in Kaptale, in Kapkitui village, Nandi County, won the Kip Keino Classic Continental Tour in October last year and will be hoping to repeat the feat this time at Kasarani.

He says he has been putting on finishing touches with the aim of making the final team to Tokyo.

“My biggest target and focus is to make it into Team Kenya and make my dream debut at the Olympic Games.

I have been preparing well for the task ahead of me,” said the second-last born in a family of eight children; three boys and five girls.

The global sports management athlete will be up against teammate Michael Kibet who has not concealed his desire to heal emotional pain of missing out on the 2019 World Championships when he was dropped out of the team after failing to meet anti-doping requirements.

“I hope to get the opportunity to run for Kenya. I want to reach the finals and bring a medal,” Kibet said.

The two are among the 17 athletes who will be vying for the limited slots  in the men’s 5,000m team.

Others are Jacob Krop, Davis Kiplagat, Bethwel Birgen, Richard Yator, Erick Kiptanui, Daniel Simiu among others.

More on Sports