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Kenya’s athletics body restricts runners’ workload in 2018       

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s athletics officials said on Monday that only one runner will represent the country in one international event this year.

Paul Mutwii, Athletics Kenya’s Senior Vice-President in Charge of Competitions, said that due to the congested calendar of international events in 2018, athletes will have to select only one race to participate in so that they can make best use of their strength.

“There are seven global events lined up this year close to each other. Athletes will have to choose which races they want to enter because we do not want them to burn out and [we] also [want] to give room to their up and coming colleagues,” Mutwii told journalists in Nairobi.

Officials altered the local calendar of events, which commenced early November last year to accommodate the seven major international and continental competitions which will commence with the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham, England (March 2-March 4) followed by the Africa Cross Country Championships in Chlef, Algeria (March17). After this the World Half Marathon Championships will kick off March 24 in Valencia, Spain.

The Commonwealth Games will take place between April 8 and April 15 in Australia and the Africa Senior Athletics Championships is scheduled for early August in Delta State, Nigeria.  After this the Youth Olympics will close the curtains in Buenos Aires, Argentina in October.

The biggest casualty of the edict is Geoffrey Kamworo who is both World Cross Country champion and World Half Marathon title holder, but has opted to defend his world marathon title owing to the event’s superior status.

“We call upon the elite athletes to aim for bigger titles and leave the lesser races to budding athletes as a way of discovering new talent and boosting their performance,” Mutwii remarked.

Mutwii said Kenya will hold the national cross country championships-cum-national trials on Saturday in order to select the team that will represent the country in the continental competition.

“Only those runners who took part in our weekend series and have made it to their respective regional teams will be eligible to participate. We will not give room to the big names, even if they are in awesome form,” Mutwii noted, adding that the first six runners in each category will be selected.

The categories are 6km junior women, 8km junior men, 10km senior women, 10km senior men and mixed relays.


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