Relays team set to depart for Poland on Tuesday

Monday, April 26th, 2021 00:00 |
Athletics Kenya names World Athletics Relays team. Photo/Courtesy

Amos Abuga and Kiprono Ericson

Kenya departs on Tuesday night for the World Athletics Relays scheduled for May 1-2 in Silesia, Poland, with team manager Kennedy Tanui beaming with confidence.

 Tanui said the country and Athletics Kenya has given emphasis and support to the sprinters going to the fifth edition of the world relays, something that has not been done before.

 The team of 36 athletes and eight officials will depart aboard a KLM flight on Tuesday at 11.50pm via Amsterdam before connecting to Warsaw. 

 From Warsaw they will take another flight to Silesia, south west of the Polish capital.

 “There is no particular time that we have had our sprinters in camp for such a long time. People are looking at the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, but for the sprinters it has been blessings in disguise,” said Tanui.

 Majority of the sprinters have been training under the bubble at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, with Tanui saying this should reflect on the medals.

 “Besides the adequate preps we have had before the championships, the athletes will be traveling to Poland early enough before the other teams arrive.

We shall take the time to acclimatise and also take the mandatory Covid-19 tests,” he added.

 Over the weekend AK  senior vice president Paul Mutwii, chief administrative officer Susan Kamau and federation executive members Benjamin  Njoga and Barnaba Korir visited and kitted the team ahead of departing.

 “I am happy most of your local allowances have been cleared. The remaining monies will be sent to you before you depart the  country. The overseas allowances will be cleared anytime by the government,” assured Kamau.

 Kamau clarified that the team was supposed to depart on Wednesday but the  athletes now have more time to take Covid-19 tests and settle down before other teams arrive.

 Tanui  said the team stands a good chance to qualify for the finals in men’s and women’s 4x400m, men’s 4x200m and 4x400m mixed relay. 

 “We have favourable draws  in these events that start in the semi-finals. Our hope is to make the final especially in the 4x400m events where we shall be guaranteed places at the Tokyo Olympic Games,” said Tanui.

 Kenya are assured of a medal in shuttle relay after the United States and Jamaica withdrew from the championships. Kenya will now face Germany and Poland in Silesia, Poland.

 The team has been given automatic entry to the final in the 2x2x400 metres event.

 “We only need to avoid disqualification in the shuttle relay to get at least a bronze,” said Tanui.

US-based runner

A total of 127 relay teams from 37 countries will compete in Silesia.

 World 800m bronze medallist Ferguson Rotich is among the 31 athletes in the Kenyan team. Joining Rotich in the mixed 2x2x400m are Commonwealth 800m champion Wycliffe Kinyamal, Naomy Korir and Emily Cherotich.

 The team for the event at the Silesian Stadium in Chorzow also features national 400m record holder Hellen Syombua and Aron Koech.  

United States-based Emmanuel Korir is the only athlete who is outside the country who has been picked in the team. 

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