The World Athletics Championships are almost here and in this series of build up articles this blogger will run through a preview of who he reckons will be the most likely bets to win gold medals and be on the news sippin on Kenya’s finest Grade 1 Mursik. As usual I expect Athletics Kenya will state their intentions as topping the overall medals table, but in reality we have not cultivated the infrastructure to breed real world class sprint and field athletes. We are more likely to dominate in the usual middle and long distance events from 800m to 10 000m, the marathon and perhaps get one or two runners in the finals of the 400m.In this piece I’ll look at the ‘middle distance’ track events (800m, and 1500m). The steeplechase will get its own mention later.
There are really only three words that can be use to describe the men’s event. David Lekuta Rudisha. This blogger first became aware of this athlete in the build up to the Beijing Olympics in 2008. However injury and a number of set backs, including injury, meant that it was not until last year that he really began to deliver on the promise he had shown in early 2008. Two world records later and this year’s fastest time so far mean he is the runaway favourite for gold in this event. However, that does not mean that the field is gonna let him win so easily. Boaz Lalang has shown the kind of pace it takes to possibly push Rudisha all the way and its never wise ruling out Olympic champion Alfred Kirwa Yego. The biggest non-Kenyan challenge will be South Sudan’s Abubaker Kaki and South Africa’s Mbulaune Mulaudzi (sp). Actually this blogger would like to see Kaki and Rudisha on the same track for once this season.
In the women’s event things are looking much less obvious. Even though in theory, Kenya has the defending Olympic Champion and former World champion who might possibly compete in this event, neither has looked much more than lukewarm over the past season or so. This blogger tips Janeth Jepkosgei to come good when the chips are down and get past the likes of Caster Semenya and bring home the gold.
There’s loads of competition among Kenyan 1500m runners this year. Then again there’s always competition. Though some of the usual suspects have spent the bulk of the season running 800m this blogger largely expects they will switch back ton 1500m for the championships. Note this is more a hunch than actual ‘insider information.’ So if that is the case then I expect Kenya’s challenge for gold will be largely between the ‘veteran’ 2008 Olympic champion Asbel Kiprop and this year’s sensation Nixon Chepseba.
In the women’s race, I reckon Kenya’s best bets are the Nancy Jebet Langat.and Irene Jelagat
In the next episode of we look at the 3000m steeplechase I mean sure Kenya may be firm favourites to win this but exactly who’s in top form to take the gold