MOMBASA (JUNE 7) – Rift Valley Region is bracing for a tough competition against Nyanza during the National Term 2 A Secondary Schools Athletics competition that starts at the Mbaraki Stadium, Mombasa, on Thursday.
So complacent are Rift valley Region, who claimed the athletics crown during last year’s championships in Meru that they have brought a second string side to the coastal city, where other events have been taking place at Shanzu TTC and Shimo La Tewa Secondary School.
Jason Meli, the coach of the great Rift Valley Region team, said all the top athletics who dominated the first pre-trials in Eldoret on May 25-26, have remained behind to concentrate on training for next week’s trials for IAAF World Under 18 Championships in Nairobi.
Our top athletes have remained behind to avoid running here because they are all eyeing the team for the World Under 18 Championships,” said Meli, a teacher at Arwos Mixed Secondary School in Nandi County.
“They are also concentrating on preparations for Commonwealth Youth Games in Bahamas,” said Meli.
“Most of the athletes in the provisional team for Under 18 opted not to come to Mombasa due to its low altitude. It may affect their performance. Those supposed to go to Commonwealth Youth Games in Bahamas also did not come.
LOC's Dokatu Wako with Utithi Secondary handball team.
Edward Zakayo from Elgeyo Marakwet (5,000m, 3,000m and 1,500m), who was second in Eldoret, David Kapirante (400m) and Justus Soget (1,5000m and 5,000m), both of Kirobon Boys School in nakuru, Duncan Kiprotich (Chebang’ang in Bomet, 10,000m) and
Nobert Colombos (Kosirai Boys, 800m) did not come.
Catherine Relin (Kapsait Girls 10,000m), Ann Nyaguthie (5,000m Keringet Winners Girls), Diana Chepkorir (Keringet Winners, 3,000m SC), Cynthia Chepngeno (Keringet Winners 3,000m), Maureen Wafula (Getta in Trans Nzoia High Jump) all gave the Mombasa date a wide berth.
The second string team from Rift Valley, who are also expected to dominate the event and help the champions retain title are drawn from: (Girls) Monica Chirchir (10,000m, Kipkaech in Baringo)
Nelly Chepchirchir (400m and 800m from St Francis Cheptarit in Nandi), Hyvin Chepkemoi (1,500m, Kiptome in Kericho);
(Boys): Rolex Kipruto (5,000m and 10,000m from Kimwogo School, Egeyo Marakwet), Jonah Kiprop (800m from Kapseret in Uasin Gishu), Noel Rotich (3,000m SC from Chewoyet in West Pokot).
Nyanza South stars Elija Matayo, who won both 100m and 200m during the pre-Trials in Eldoret, and Robinson Motende, are expected to dominate sprints, while Irene Akinyi and Mary Moraa will fly the Nyanza South flag in the women’s sprints.
Aside from track and field, other events were taking place at the Shanzu TTC and Shimo La Tewa under the windy day interspersed by cool breeze flapping the Marubaini trees.
Central Region enters a strong team to schools championships
Rift Valley and Nyanza Regions cannot afford to be complacent during the National Term 2 A Championships in Mombasa because Central Region have said they want to make an impact, too.
The team have drawn athletes from Gituamba, Kahatia, Kagondo Girls, Ginda Girls, Chania schools.
Simon Mwaniki, who is coaching the Central Provincial athletics team, said they have two athletes who are gunning for spots in the IAAF World Under 18 Championships.
Esther Wambui and Mary Mumbi are very strong candidates for the Kenyan team to the world championships.
Wambui, a student at Irigithathi Mixed who runs 1,500m and Mumbi, a 5km walker from Kagondo Mixed School, were in Eldoret for the pre-trials, but have both come to Mombasa to sharpen their claws for the trials next week.
“I hope to get a slot to represent Kenya in the World Championships and even go higher in the senior category,” said 17-year-old Wambui.
Mumbi promised to qualify for the global championships and even win a medal.
The girls want the Government to step up support for athletes from marginalised areas to enable them access facilities and continue with their education.
“For us to balance domestic chores with education and training for competitions is not easy,” said Wambi, a sixth born in a family of 12.
Counties making up the Central Region are Kiambu, Murang’a, Kirinyaga, Nyeri and Nyandarua.
The Region is proud to have produced Jane Njoki from Kagondo Mixed, who won bronze during the last IAAF World Under 18 Championships in Cali, Colombo, in 2015.
Margaret Nyairera, the Olympic 800m bronze medallist, is also a product, of the region.