By John Kwoba NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s head coach Stephen Mwaniki says he is
under pressure to deliver results at the Africa Championships in
Asaba, Nigeria despite lacking some elite runners in his
Speaking to Xinhua
in Nairobi on Wednesday, Mwaniki said up to 15 elite athletes
have made technical appearances in the camp as they have
travelled between cities to compete in the Diamond League.
The Rabat, Paris,
Monaco and London legs of IAAF Diamond League have drawn huge
representation from Kenyan athletes. The coach now wants the
athletes to settle down and focus on team tactics ahead of their
departure for Nigeria on Saturday.
Championships will be held in Asaba, Nigeria from Aug 1-5.
Mwaniki believes he
still has a strong enough team to rise above the pressure to
deliver the medals that will see them surpass the last mark of
24 - eight gold, eight silver and eight bronze - won in the last
championships in Durban, South Africa in 2016.
“We want to surpass
the medal tally we had in Durban two years ago. Our main focus
is winning more many gold medals which will boost our chances of
topping the medal table. We have prepared well for the past
three weeks and we expect to perform better,” said Mwaniki.
athletes will be seeking chances to represent the continent at
the IAAF Continental Cup in Ostrava, the Czech Republic from
September 18-19. Only the best two in each discipline will win a
ticket to the Continental Cup.
nowadays is a challenge but we have trained our athletes to
counter such challenges. The athletes are aware that winning
gold medals will guarantee them a place in the Continental Cup
and that will help in achieving our target,” said Mwaniki.
Mwaniki also said
that a blip in performance shown by Conseslus Kipruto at the
Monaco Diamond League will not be a major concern as he believes
the Olympic and world champion will overcome this challenge and
win gold for Kenya in Nigeria.
“I know he will get
over it and deliver the medal. I have talked with him and he has
assured me of his fitness as we head to Nigeria. I will observe
him more in the next five days and know where he stands in the
pecking order,” added Mwaniki.