Nairobi — The top two athletes across the line will earn an automatic ticket to represent Kenya at both the World Athletics Championship in Oregon, United States and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, United Kingdom, Athletics Kenya have announced.
Kenya has only been given 45 slots for the Commonwealth Games and only the top two in each category at the trials which run Thursday and Friday will be assured of a place in the Kenyan team.
The top two will also earn a place at the World Championships while a third athlete will be named a panel of Athletics Kenya selectors.
At the same time, AK boss Lt. Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei has said all athletes who will go in for the trials will have to commit to double as Kenya will want to field the strongest possible teams in both events.
“All these events are important and very big for us and we will want to field the strongest possible teams. All athletes who have been invited for the trials will have to commit to double and only under very special circumstances will we allow someone to go for only one event,” Tuwei said.
“Only the marathoners are currently exempted from doubling because they need a longer period of time to recover and the two events run back to back,” he added.
The World Athletics Championship runs from July 15 to 24 in Oregon, United States and the Commonwealth Games starting four days later, July 28 to August 8 in Birmingham.
Tuwei clarified that the invite only two day events that has 175 athletes was based on several factors including the fulfilment of World Athletics anti-doping requirements and competition qualifying standards.
“Kenya is still classed as a Category A country in terms of World Anti-Doping Agency standards. This is not a new thing, it was done for the Rio Olympics, London 2017 and Doha 2019 World Championships as well as Tokyo 2020 Olympics and athletes know that to compete for Kenya at the world event you must have undergone three out-of-competition tests 10 months to the event, and one of the three tests must be a blood sample,” Tuwei said.
Meanwhile, apart from those who will be selected on Friday and Saturday, race walkers Samuel Gathimba and Samuel Ngii as well as javelin thrower Julius Yego have been handed wildcards for the Championships and they will not need to go through the trials.
Kenya will not field any other field event athletes as none has hit the qualification mark.
The invites-only event will see straight finals with the competition program starting on Friday at 1.10pm with the men’s 5,000m final.
At the same time, the two-day trials received a financial boost with Absa Bank announcing a Sh12mn sponsorship while Lotto Foundation added a further Sh3mn boost.