Fierce rivalry renewed as National athletics championships start in Nairobi

Fierce rivalry renewed as National athletics championships start in Nairobi

Fierce rivalry renewed as National athletics championships start in Nairobi

Michezo Afrika file photo,high jump at Kasarani during previous National Athletics Championships.

The 2017 edition of the Safaricom National Athletics Championship is set to be held starting Thursday morning in Nairobi at the Nyayo National Stadium .

The three days championships will run until Saturday and is expected to bring together top athletes mostly drawn from the disciplined forces of Kenya Police, Kenya Prisons and Kenya Defence forces.

Over 900 athletes are expected to take part in the championships that will include Track and Field events. Among the star attraction events include 3000m steeplechase, 5,000m, race walking, javelin, shot put, triple jump and pole vault.

The hotly contested athletics derby is expected to unveil fresh talent this time round, as some of the biggest names in Kenyan track and field will be missing in action after transitioning to road races. However crowd favourites such as Asbel Kiprop and Faith Chepng’etich have confirmed their participation, and will be hoping to defend their titles and represent Kenya once again.

“We expect the Defence Forces team and Police team to bring their finest from the trials they held last weekend. I am calling on athletics fans to come to Nyayo Stadium to watch the emerging raw talent because these are the people we are counting on to take on the athletics baton,” said Susan Kamau, CEO – Athletics Kenya.

“The Kenya Prisons Service will also be an exciting team to watch, as new signees such as Wilfred Kimitei and Margaret Wambui have made it clear that they will be at the stadium to win,” said Ms. Kamau.

Main sponsor Safaricom two years ago included track and field events in its Safaricom Athletics Series, in line with its commitment to developing athletic talent beyond the long distance races.

These National Championships, and the two day Trials for the World Championships scheduled for 23rd and 24th June this year, are expected to inject life into the track and field disciplines that have historically been overlooked in favour of longer road races, creating a pool of talent that can represent Kenya in international track and field meets.

“The recent regional championships demonstrated the great sportsmanship being developed in this field of athletics, showcasing talent that is just waiting to be tapped through national and international events. As much as Kenya is already well known for conquering long distance races, we feel that the time is right for us to prove our prowess and show the world that we have what it takes to rule the track and field as well,” said Sylvia Mulinge, Director for Consumer Business – Safaricom.

The National Athletics Championships become the fourth event to be held under the banner of the 2017 Safaricom Athletics Series, which was launched last month and will be sponsored by the telecommunications firm at a cost of KSh.65 million.

The Safaricom Athletics Series will feature a line-up of nine long distance races and three track and field events, bringing the total to 12 events this year.

Read more on : Athletics


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