Seven athletes earn automatic qualifications to World Championship

By ronnie evans
Jun 20, 2017

Seven defending champions have earned automatic qualification for this year's World Athletics Championship set for August ahead of the Kenya national trials slated for June 23-24 at the Nyayo National Stadium.

Julius Yego (javelin), David Rudisha (800m), Ezekiel Kemboi (3,000m s/c), Nicholas Bett (400m hurdles) have been handed direct tickets to the London-bound Championship.

Others who have been automatically included in the team are the defending champions Asbel Kiprop (1,500m), Hyvin Kiyeng (3,000m steeplechase) and Vivian Cheruiyot (10,000m). They are the other winners who will gain direct entry after their emphatic triumph in Beijing in the 2015 edition.

This means that Kenya has the leeway of fielding at least four athletes in the seven disciplines that have the defending champions.

Athletics Kenya has invited up to 247 athletes for the two day trials that will see Team Kenya's top crop of athletes selected.

Also expected to get the nod from International Association of Athletics Federations​ are the 2016 Diamond League series winners. This includes Conseslus Kipruto in the 3000m steeplechase and Ferguson Rotich in the 800m.

Race walk champion

Six-time African race walk champion Grace Wanjiru leads compatriots Samuel Gathimba and Simon Wachira as those who have also secured​ qualification berths.

Susan Kamau, the AK CEO reiterated that all those who secure tickets to the World Championship must still abide by the set anti-doping guidelines.

“It is important to note that even as the athletes are selected after the trials then they must also adhere to the strict IAAF and World Anti-Doping Agency demands in order to be eligible to compete in the World Championships,” she explained.

Kenyan athletes must undergo three out of competition doping tests while a further two tests will be done during the competition. Also, seminars on anti-doping will still be carried out by AK in the build up to the competition proper.

Meanwhile the AK technical wing will make a decision this week on the contentious issue of those athletes who wish to take part in both the 5000m and 10000m.

Jackson Tuwei, the AK president earlier last week said that consultations will be made as some athletes have already attained the qualification mark in both events.

Kenya had her best ever performance at the global stage in 2015 with a total medal haul of 16. The athletes scooped seven gold, six silver and three bronze medals to also top the standings.