Kenya: Athletics Kenya to Step Up Budapest Preps as Qualifying Standards Reviewed

Nairobi — Ahead of next year’s World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Athletics Kenya (AK) are hoping to commence preparations for the competition to better their performance at this year’s edition in Oregon.

AK director of competitions, Paul Mutwii, said the federation’s technical committee will evaluate Team Kenya’s performance in Oregon and come up with strategies that build on the positives while rectifying the weaknesses.

“They (technical committee) will scrutinize and evaluate the performance… to identify what we did well and what went wrong. For now, I cannot speak on the strengths and weaknesses witnessed (in Oregon). The committee will also come up with a mode of qualification to ensure the selection of a strong team for Budapest,” Mutwii said.

Moreover, he said the committee will explore the possibility of holding national trials earlier enough before the competition to allow the final team to prepare adequately.

“This is one of the issues the committee will put into consideration. Usually, a residential camp is just part of the bigger preparations for an international assignment of this magnitude. A camp is often an opportunity for the athletes to go through their final touches before the competition,” Mutwii, also the AK vice president, said.

Kenya came away from the United States with 10 medals (two gold, five silver and three bronze) as they finished fourth behind the U.S., Ethiopia and Jamaica.

Compared to the previous edition in Doha where they finished second on the medal standings with 10 medals (five gold, two silver and four bronze), the country’s performance in Oregon was underwhelming.

-Qualifying Standards reviewed-

Many athletes will face an uphill task to make it to Budapest after the qualifying standards for various races were increased for next year’s competition.

Whereas those who qualified for the men and women’s 100m in Oregon was 10.05 and 11.15 respectively, those hoping to make it to the plane to Budapest will have to run at least 10.00 and 11.06 respectively.

The qualifying time for the 3000m steeplechase has also been reviewed to 8:15.00 and 9:23.00 for the men and women’s races respectively.

Commenting on the updated qualifying standards, Mutwii said they will guide the committee’s roadmap to the 2023 World Championship.

“They will scrutinize the qualifying standards and develop strategies on what needs to improve to meet them. This is something that will be shared and will involve coaches from around the country, including in the field events. We want to help field athletes to find the right kind of training so many more of them can qualify for international competitions,” he said.

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