NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 3 – The first six athletes to cross the line in each category at the Athletics Kenya (AK) National Cross Country Trials will earn an automatic ticket for the IAAF World Championships scheduled for March 28 in Kampala, Uganda.
AK senior vice-president in charge of competitions Paul Mutwii said the national cross championship local organising committee had resolved that no athlete will get a wild card and each runner will have to endeavor and finish in the top six to gain a qualification slot.
“We felt that given Kenya has an abundant talent any runner who finishes in the top six we have no doubt is capable of giving the country good representation at the international stage in Uganda in that it would be unnecessary to give special preference”, he said.
The mixed relay team will be selected basing on the time each individual athlete will post during the race and the runners with top most times will be considered for selection.
The AK National Cross Country Championship will be hosted at Nairobi’s Uhuru Gardens on February 18 and will be streamed live by national broadcaster the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC).
After the exit of Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), Lotto Foundation have come on board as the new sponsors and have injected Sh12 for this year’s season.
The National Cross Country Championships will feature five categories with 16 AK affiliates in participation.
The categories include the Junior women’s 6km, Junior men’s 8km, Senior women’s 10km, Senior men’s 10km and mixed 8km relay races.
In the mixed relay which will comprise of a quarter of two men and two women per team will have a runner run one lap each which is a distance of 2km before passing the baton.
The selected team is expected to move into residential training at Kigari Teachers Training College in Embu on February 23rd.
The team will depart for Kampala, Uganda on March 23rd, three days before the World Cross showdown.
Mutwii said during the National Cross Country Championships no individual runners and foreigners will be allowed to participate.
He said anti doping measures will be in place where Anti Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) personnel will carry out tests on the runners.
The official said the top six winners will be feted with cash and the top runners and team’s in each category will receive trophies.