Obiri, Manangoi lead elite runners for AAG trials at Kasarani

World 5000 metres champion Helen Obiri leads the star-studded field for the All Africa Games Trials that start on Thursday in Kasarani.

The three-day contest brings together the ‘who is who’ in the Kenyan athletics arena with athletes set to represent the country in Morocco in August. Obiri opened her track season with a win in Doha last month, clocking 8:25.60 in the 3000m.

Obiri had earlier said she will be using the All Africa Games as a build-up as she seeks to defend her crown at the World Championship in Doha in September.

She will be up against Margaret Chelimo, Lilian Kasait, Beatrice Chebet, Pascaline Jepkorir, Gloria Kite and former World cross country champion Agnes Tirop among others in the 12-lap race.

In the women’s 10,000 metres, Alice Aprot starts as the front runner but will have Joyce Chepkemoi, Celestine Chepchirchir, Beatrice and Stacy Ndiwa to contend with in the 24-lap race.

World and Olympic 1,500 metres Faith Chepngetich returns back to the track after maternity leave and will compete against  Africa champion Winny Chebet, former world 800 metres champion Eunice Sum and former world champion Janeth Jepkosgei, who is also returning after a long hiatus.

Others in the event include Sela Jepleting and Mary Kuria. World 3000m  steeplechase record holder Beatrice Chepkoech will be keen to bounce back from her loss last week in Oslo, where she lost to Norah Jeruto. 

Here, she will have the company of world U-20 3000-metre steeplechase champion Celliphine  Chespol, Mercy Chepkurui and Joan Chepkoech.

In the men’s category, World and Commonwealth Games 1,500m champion Elijah Manangoi and Timothy Cheruiyot renew their rivalry and will face off against the likes of Bethwell Birgen, Vincent Kibet, Nixon Chepseba and George Manangoi.

Fresh from winning in Rabat on Sunday, World U-20, 5,000m champion Edward Zakayo is up against World U-20 silver medallist Stanley Waithaka, Davis Kiplagat, Paul Tanui, Alfred Barkach, Leonard Bett and Ronald Kwemoi.

In the 10,000m race, world U-20 champion Rhonex Kipruto is the race favourite for the 25-lap race with Jospehatt Bett, Wilfred Kimitei, Paul Tanui, Stephen Arita, Edwin Soi, Gilbert Kimunyan and Amos Kurgat out to challenge him.

Commonwealth Games 800m champion Wycliff Kinyamal leads the hunt in the two-lap race and will fight out against Jackson Kivuva, Alfred Kipketer, Emmanuel Korir, Nicholas Kiplangat, Ferguson Rotich and Jonathan Kitilit.

World 300om steeplechase champion Conselus Kipruto and Ben Kigen go head to head in the barrier event and face the threat Leonard Kipkemoi Bett, Abraham Kibiwott, and Amos Kirui.