The Diamond League circuit takes a short break of about two weeks, so it conveniently fits into Athletics Kenya’s plans to have the national athletics championships this week from Thursday 22nd to Saturday 24th.
Kenya’s stars who have been featuring in the diamond league and continental tour events will meet up with new emerging stars who have been climbing their way up from the counties to the regional and finally to the national championships. The national championships will also act as trials for the African Games that will take place in Accra, Ghana, later in the year.
Here are things not to get surprised to watch at the national event
Big stars could run at different distances other than their special events
In the past Kenyan national championships that did not serve as the national trials, most of the runners with the world championship qualification times in their special events would opt to do a different distance at the nationals. It should be the same case this weekend in Nairobi.
One should not be surprised to see Emmanuel Wanyonyi running the men’s 1500m, Beatrice Chepkoech in the women’s 5000m, or Timothy Cheruiyot in the men’s 800m.
Faster times should be expected as new stars try their last chances to get the qualification standards for Budapest.
Those who are yet to get the qualification times for Budapest 23 will try their best to impress the Athletics Kenya officials to earn a place in the national trials that will happen next month.
The sprint events and the relays will likely be where the qualifications will come from.
New stars will upset big stars.
Referring to the earlier point of stars choosing to do different distances at the national championships, one of the reasons the big stars avoid the events they will be participating in at the World Championships is to avoid the upsets that could put them under pressure ahead of the national trials.
The more experienced stars will most likely be representing the Kenya Defence Forces, the Kenya Police, and the Kenya Prisons, while the new emerging stars will have come from the different regions in Kenya.