Kenya eyeing relay triumph at London

April 18th, 2012 - 5:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Nairobi, April 18 (IANS) Sprints have never been Kenya’s area of specialisation but that history might be changed this summer at the London Olympics where the country is expected to enter a team in the 4X400m relay.

Kenya is ranked 13 among the best 16 countries in the discipline and have thus secured an automatic qualification to the Olympics where they intend to exploit the chinks in their opponents’ armour to win an extra medal, Xinhua reported.

To get the team in its best form, Athletics Kenya (AK) has opted to send a squad of six athletes to the renowned Penn State relays in the United States later this month.

Commonwealth Games 400m champion Mark Mutai tops the Kenyan list of six runners to the Penn State relays. He will be accompanied by Anderson Mureta, Vincent Mumo, 400m hurdler Vincent Kosgei, Boniface Mweresa and Alphos Kishoyan for the five-day event.

The team will be led by AK vice-chairman Paul Mutwii as head of delegation while Stephen Mwaniki will be the coach.

Mutai will compete in the middle distance relays while the rest of the runners will feature in the 4×400m relay.

The Kenya team has already qualified for the London Olympic Games having placed sixth in the 4×400m relay at the World Championships in Daegu in a time of 3:01.15.

AK’s public relations officer Peter Angwenyi said the team will feature in the Penn State Relays event for experience and exposure purposes ahead of the London Olympic Games.

“It is important that we give them exposure and chance to gauge their preparedness ahead of the Olympics. There are not so many local relay races that can add value to their training and that is why we have opted to take them to the US,” Angwenyi was quoted as saying by Xinhua, in Nairobi.

Angwenyi said while Kenya has the quality and talent, experience was still a key determinant if they are to be competitive at the Olympic Games.

He said that with good planning, the Kenyans have the capability to finish on the podium both in Penn State Relays and at the Olympic Games.

“Kenya is currently ranked 13th in the world in the relay and I believe they can challenge the likes of the United States, Jamaica and England in the race,” he said.

Kenya took part in the event in 2010 and went on to win the Africa Senior Championships on home soil in Nairobi.

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