Justin Lagat is covering the 2019 Kenyan National Championships this week. In this piece, Justin focused on the upcoming 10,000m special races on August 21. Thanks to Justin, our senior writer in Kenya, on this weekly column, A view from Kenya.
Special 10,000m races at the Kenyan National championships this week.
With all the regions and other different organizations in the country having already selected their teams to represent them at the national championships/trials scheduled for 20th – 22nd of August in Nairobi, some changes were announced. The national championships were going to go on as planned, but the selection for the team to represent Kenya at the world championships in Doha will have to wait until 12th – 13th September.
However, there will be two races that will remain as both the national championships and trials to select the team to Doha; the men and women’s 10,000m races.
The women participating in the 10,000m event will be the first ones to know their fate by 9 am on 21st with their race already scheduled to start at 8:30 in the morning. This will be happening on Day 2 of the national championships. Of great interest to watch here will be Helen Obiri who will be leading the Kenya Defence Forces team having won the event in their internal championships. If Obiri makes the team in this event, she may have to double it with the 5,000m event in which she is the world defending champion.
Another one to watch here will be, Irene Cheptai who is now back from her maternity leave. Before going on maternity, she had won the world cross country title in Kampala where she led Kenyans to unprecedented 1-2-3-4-5-6 finish.
There will be many finals on Day 3 of the championships but the men’s 10,000m race will definitely be the main race of the day, given that it will not be just a national title at stake here, but a chance to represent the country at the world championships as well.
With only 3 slots available, the men’s 10,000m race will be epic. The new stars in the event including Rhonex Kipruto, Josephat Kipchirchir, Mathew Kimeli, Rogers Kwemoi , among others will be battling for the few spots with the more experienced ones like the man of all surfaces, Geoffrey Kamworor, Paul Tanui, Leornard Barsoton, and others.
Earlier on, Athletics Kenya (AK) had provided some guidelines on how the athletes were going to be selected. The first 1, 2 and 3 across the finish line will automatically make the team. But, they will need to meet the championship qualifying times as well. Athletes will also be required to fulfill the Anti-doping requirements by the Athletics Integrity Unit.