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Sprints coach Stephen Mwaniki confident relay teams will make cut for Budapest

Sprints coach Stephen Mwaniki believes Kenya's 4x 400m (men) and 4x400 mixed relay teams can shoot to between positions 10 and 12 in the world rankings when they compete in Gaborone, Botswana, on Thursday.

The Kenyan teams are currently placed 16th on the World Athletics rankings. The mixed relay team has a time of 3:14.64 while the men's 4x400m team boosts of a 3:02.02 mark. Both times were set at Nyayo Stadium on June 24.

The contingent in Gaborone has Wiseman Were, Bonface Mweresa, Kennedy Kimeu and Zablon Ekwam in the 4x400m race while the mixed relays trialists include Ekwam, Kevin Tauta, Mercy Oketch, Maureen Thomas and Millicent Ndoro.

Mwaniki said the individual athletes are the best the country has to offer over the distances and expressed confidence they will deliver in Botswana.

"These are our best athletes and we hope they will do the country proud by cementing their place at the World Championships in Hungary," said Mwaniki.

The Kenya Prisons coach said the window for qualification closes on July 30 and the Botswana event presents a good opportunity for the team.

"We have a very good opportunity to improve our time before the deadline," he said.

 

The top 16 teams in the world by July 30 will head to Budapest.

He added that Kenya stands a good chance of medaling in the mixed relays.

"We won a bronze medal at the World Relays in Yokohama, Japan, four years ago and I believe our chances are very good in that regard," he said.

Mwaniki added that should Kenya make it to the 4x400m and mixed relay finals in Budapest, they will have qualified for next year's Olympic Games in Paris.

"This is a big incentive for us as a federation and team. They know what's at stake and if we attain better times in Gaberone, we will work very hard to ensure we make it to the final in Budapest," he noted.

Commonwealth Games 800m champion Mary Moraa is a probable member of the mixed relay team if they make it to Budapest.

"She is a strong athlete, especially over 400, and will be an asset to the side if we do qualify," he said.

(07/20/2023) Views: 318 ‚ö°AMP
by William Njuguna
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