Fast-rising 400m sprinter Zablon Ekwam will be among the stellar cast of athletes, who will turn the first Athletics Kenya (AK) Track and Field Weekend Series into a precursor of the 2020 Tokyo Games build up at Maseno University on Friday and Saturday.
The congested 2020-2021 season has already seen Kenya pick the Cross Country squad to the Africa Cross Country Championships in Togo next month.
Apart from the Olympics and Africa Cross Country championships, major events lined up for the year include World Under-20 Championships and Africa Championships.
The federation has scaled down the Series to three to cope with the 2021 busy calendar in athletics. Subsequent track and field meets will be used as preparations towards the 22nd edition of the Africa Senior Athletics Championships with trials set for April 16 in Nairobi.
Evans Rono, Ndura Athletics Manager, confirmed their runners will participate at the meeting saying the opportunity will give their runners exposure ahead of international assignments.
“We will be sending Ekwam, who has performed really well at the relay series alongside Noah Kibet, Brian Kiptum, Kevin Kipkorir and Anne Mbatha for the weekend meet,” said Rono.
Coach Bernard Ouma of Rongai Athletics Club also disclosed that they will be sending a team of sprinters. Strong presentation from National Police, Kenya Prisons Services and Kenya Defences forces is expected at the track and field opener.
AK senior vice-president Paul Mutwii said: “There are so many activities this year that’s why we settled for three meets in Maseno, Embu and Mumias. These particular meetings will be used for Africa Championships preparations before we embarked on the 2020 Olympics Games. It’s a crowded season but I believe our athletes are equal to the task ahead.”
The continental championships were due for Algiers last year but were postponed following stoppage of global activities by coronavirus pandemic and will now be held on June 1-5 in the Algerian capital city. [Dennis Okeyo]
At the same time AK Nyanza North chairman Joseph Ochieng clarified the two-day meet will be hosted at Maseno university not Bondo university.
“We are Sorry for the last-minute change of venue, the championships will now be held at Maseno and not Bondo as earlier communicated, Maseno which is nearer to Kisumu where athletes can seek accommodations,” he said.