Kenya's Aprot returns to action, targets Continental Championships
By John Kwoba
NAIROBI, June 17 (Xinhua) -- Africa 10,000m champion Alice Aprot has shaken off her illness and loss of form and is hopeful to retain her title at the this yearâs championships in Asaba, Nigeria from Aug. 1-5.
Speaking in Nairobi on Sunday, Aprot, who failed to make the Commonwealth Games team in April, showed her prowess as she claimed silver medal in the Kenya Prisons Championships and pledged to do everything to make the Kenya team to Africa Championships.
Aprot, who finished fourth in 10,000m at the Rio Olympics and the 2017 World Championships, will have to deal with Paris Marathon champion Visiline Jepkesho who is also keen to make the cut and compete in the track competition for her country.
âI wasnât feeling well during the Commonwealth trials but I am back,â said Aprot.
âMaking the Kenya team to Africa Championships i s the target. We have too many athletes eyeing the three spots and hopefully, I will be the one to claim one of the tickets.â
Head coach Japheth Kemei has said only merit will be used to name the team and warned Kenya faces a strong challenge from Ethiopia and Uganda and must do everything possible to fend off their late surge at global competitions.
âUganda and Ethiopia have improved of late and are keen to dominate at Kenyaâs expense. That is why we are making it hard in the selection and want athletes to be inspired to return the country glory and dominance in Africa championships. Nobody will be given any wild card. It will be open to all during the trials this week,â he said.
Indeed Kenya will be naming its final team to the Africa Championships on Friday after a three day championships in Nairobi.
Kemei, who was in charge of Kenya team to the Commonwealth Games, believes the country still holds a superior point in the continent and terme d the poor show in Gold Coast, Australia in April as a blip in form, which must be turned around in Asaba, Nigeria in August.
Only the top two athletes from the Africa Championships will be given tickets to the IAAF Continental Cup, which will be held in Ostrava, the Czech Republic in September.
The Continental Cup will have athletes representing four teams â" Asia/Latin, Europe, America and Africa.
Other top athletes to watch out for include world silver medalist in 1,500m Timothy Cheruiyot, Commonwealth 800m silver medalist Margaret Nyairera, Commonwealth 3,000m steeplechase silver medalist Cellphine Chespol and Lillian Kasait.
The 21-year-old Kasait, is the former world under-18 3,000m champion, who is keen to make inroads in the senior cadre and winning ticket to Africa Championships ranks top in her priorities.
âThis forms part of my preparations for the national championships,â said Kasait.Source: Google News Kenya | Netizen 24 Kenya