Kenya’s athletics officials will not issue out any wild card berths to potential athletes ahead of the London Olympic Games.
Athletics Kenya (AK) Chairman Isaiah Kiplagat said on Wednesday that the trials will use the 1-2-3 across the finish line to select the team that will represent the country at the London Olympic Games, which start on July 27.
“There will be no wild card selection for any athlete. The challenge will be on the track and the first three across the line will qualify for the games. That will however, be subject to them having hit the A standard qualifying mark,” Kiplagat told
reporters in Nairobi.
“All athletes must participate in the trials and all must pass through the already laid down procedures if they are to earn a ticket to the Olympics,” he said.
Kiplagat also announced that athletes who will fail to make the cut in Eugene, Oregon on June 2 during the Prefontaine Classic meeting, which will serve as the trials for the men 10,000m race, will be allowed to compete at the 5,000m event in Nairobi during the national trials on June 21.
“Those who fail at the forthcoming trials in Eugene, Oregon in the U.S. will get another chance to compete. Only the first three athletes cross the finish line will be chosen for Olympics in Oregon,” he said.
“The same criteria will be used in the local races here when we have the trials. So don’t be cheated that any athlete can be considered through other means,” he added.
AK also said women will have their 10,000m trials for the Olympics during the national championships in Nairobi and after selecting the best three, the rest will have the chance to try their luck in the 5,000m event a week later.
AK will pick 12 athletes both in men and women categories for the 5,000m Olympic trials.
“There will be no direct entry to the trials. One must compete at the national championships to warrant a slot in the trials. We have so many athletes and we have to use a fair system to sieve the best,” said Kiplagat.
AK is also happy with men’s relay team that emerged eighth overall in Pen State Relay in the USA two weeks ago.
The Kenya relay team is one of the 16 teams that has qualified for the London Olympics.
“We will take the relay team to Benin for the Senior Africa Athletics Championship where the team will have a chance to compete and gauge themselves in their preparations for the Olympics,” he said.