National Athletics coach exudes confidence in team Kenya for Mauritius championships

Thursday, June 2nd, 2022 12:38 | By
William Rayian (left) beats Boniface Mwaresa of KDF in men 400m trials for the Africa Senior Athletics Championships at Kasarani in April. PD/David Ndolo

National Athletics head coach Julius Kirwa has intensified his training programme with Team Kenya ahead of the Africa Senior Athletics Championships slated for June 8 to 12 in Reduit, Mauritius.

Kirwa, who was accompanied by several coaches from different disciplines to assist him, said that the team has hit the ground running and therefore in a good place for a battle in Mauritius.

Athletics Kenya (AK) had cut down the number of athletes set to take part in the Championships to 55, down from an initial lot of 78 where 31 were women and 44 men but the number was reduced to 25 women and 30 men. 

Among those in camp is Kenya’s best 400m runner at the moment William Rayian who is riding on an immense form.

The Kajiado West born athlete is eyeing to run sub 45 minutes in his debut appearance at the championship.

Second stint

“I am excited because this will only be my second stint representing Kenya,” said Rayian.

“My first time was during the World Athletics Relays in Silesia, Poland, I didn’t perform well because I was nursing an injury. Now I see this as a golden opportunity to launch my season on the global stage,” he added.

The Information Science graduate from Moi University has this season alone lowered his personal best time twice, he feels he can go faster.

“I have generally changed my training programme, which has helped me overcome very persistent hamstring injuries. I was able to run 45.99 and 45.51 both of which are personal bests,” he added.

The Langata based police officer also has dreams of representing Kenya at the World Athletics Championships at Oregon as well as the Commonwealth Games.

“I thank God for bringing me this far. I know there are times that I could have quit because of injuries, I take pride that God has walked with me all through, I also know there are bigger things ahead of me,” added the final year student pursuing Public Management from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT).

With Kenya having teams in men’s and women’s 4x100m and 4x400m relay races, Rayian says he hopes the teams will qualify for Oregon from Mauritius.

“I hope to hit the mark for Oregon in Mauritius,” he said.

Also in camp is the 2015 African Games 10m silver medallist Eunice Kadogo who was included in the women’s 100m and 200m teams.

Kadogo will partner with national record holder Maximilla Imali and former national champion Monica Safania in 100m. She will be with Imali and Millicent Ndoro in 200m with the four making the 4x100m team alongside youngster Mercy Chebet.

Safania who has also qualified for Commonwealth Games is ready for the Africa championships.

“It is an honour to represent your country at any stage, I will leave everything on the track in Mauritius. I will also try to qualify for the World Championships,” said the police officer.

The team mostly comprising of sprinters and middle-distance athletes has been in residential training camp at Nyayo National Stadium for the last three weeks. They are set to leave the country on Sunday June 5.

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