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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Kenya’s Aprot targets 10,000m rebound
at Africa Athletics Championships

By John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- World Cross Country silver medalist Alice Aprot of Kenya wants to atone missing the Commonwealth Games with victory at the Africa Athletics Championships in Asaba, Nigeria in August.

Aprot, who won the 10,000m race during the Africa championships two years ago, but lack of form and poor planning have left her with no victory in major competitions in the last year and early this season.

“Injuries are part of the game to any athlete. I have suffered my share and hope to remain fit as the year progresses and win some medals,” Aprot said on Sunday.

Fatigue and loss of form forced Aprot out of the Kenya team to Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, but the 24-year-old is returning to her best and wants to explore every chance in the Diamond League to dominate and hopes her prospect will flow over to the Africa Athletics Championships.

“I took too much than what my body could withstand in the cross country season and I paid the ultimate price in missing out in the Kenya team. Now I have rested and regained momentum. The reconditioning has been great and have had enough time to recover fully. I want to race in selected Diamond League races and will be focused on winning the gold in Africa championships in the 10,000m race,” said Aprot from Eldoret.

The former African 10,000m champion will still have to curve her path through a battery of season runners all eyeing one of the three slots up for grabs in the Kenya team.

Challenges for Aprot will be the athletes that beat her to the ticket to the Commonwealth Games.

Top names Sandrafelis Chebet, Stacy Ndiwa and Beatrice Mutai denied Aprot the ticket to the Club Games, but failed to star in Gold Coast. Now Aprot is keen to show them who is the queen of long distance races.

“I want to define my season with gold from Africa championships,” she said. It is the biggest event this year and hopefully get selected to the IAAF Intercontinental Cup in Ostrava (Czech Republic).”

In March, Aprot failed to win the Africa Cross Country Championships in Algiers, Algeria.

Her problems magnified with a miss to the Commonwealth Games and now, with the continental track and field championships up next, she believes international championships will see her give  best performance.

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EARLIER REPORT

Kenya to send big team to Africa Athletics Championships

By John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya will send over 60 athletes to this year’s Africa Athletics Championships in Asaba, Nigeria from Aug. 1-5.

Athletics Kenya President Jack Tuwei said here Friday that Kenya will take the event seriously since the top two runners from each discipline will qualify for the IAAF continental Cup scheduled in Ostrava, the Czech Republic on Sept. 8-9.

Kenya finished second overall in the last edition of the championships two years ago in Durban, South Africa, clinching eight gold, eight silver and eight bronze medals. Host South Africa reigned supreme with 33 medals while Nigeria was third with 16 medals.

“The Intercontinental Cup is the biggest competition and we want most of our athletes to qualify. That is why we are keen to have the strongest team selected on merit to travel to Nigeria,” Tuwei said.

Top athletes led by World 1,500m champion Elijah Manangoi, 800m Commonwealth winner Wycliffe Kinyamal and Helen Obiri, the Olympic 5,000m silver medalist are all expected to make the cut for the championships.

Kenya will host a national competition in Nairobi in June to select its team to the championships.

“We have changed the dates for the national trials for the African championships. The event that was scheduled for July 5-7 in Nairobi but it will now take place on June 21-23,” said Tuwei.

Kenya has taken the decision to push forward the national trials in order to facilitate enough time for the elite runners competing in the Diamond League series to be able to compete at the final stop in Zurich.

“We want to give our athletes a chance to participate at the Zurich Diamond League and compete for the 50,000 U.S. dollar prize money,” he added.

Most Kenyan athletes will be in Thika this weekend for the national championships, the last competition prior to the trials.

Olympic bronze and Commonwealth Games 800m silver medalist Margaret Nyairera has confirmed she will compete in the 400m.

According to Tuwei, all the 54 countries and regions from Africa will be represented in Asaba.

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UPDATE:

Kenya to compete at global athletics C’ships for veterans in September

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya will compete at the World Masters Athletics Championships scheduled for September at the coastal city of Malaga, Spain, local organizers announced on Saturday.

Rose Tata-Muya, Masters Athletics Kenya Secretary General, said trials will be held on July 21 and July 22 in Iten, located in the Rift Valley area which is the cradle of Kenyan athletics.

“We require 20,000 U.S. dollars to conduct the trials and a further 160,000 dollars to facilitate Kenya’s participation in the biennial world championships,” the former 400m hurdles national record holder told Xinhua.

This marks the second time for Kenya to take part in the event that features retired athletes of aged 35 and above for women and 40 and above for men.

During Kenya’s debut in the competition held in Perth, Australia in 2016, the country ranked 18th out of 180 competition countries and regions with three gold medals, four silver medals and three bronze medals.

           

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