AK to use wild cards in Africa Games selection

Athletics Kenya (AK) has revealed that it will employ wild cards as the trials for All Africa Games kick off tomorrow at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

The federation will use the three-day event to pick at least 65 athletes to represent the country at the continental showpiece set to kick off on August 23 to September 3 in Casablanca, Morocco.

According to AK Nairobi branch chairman Barnabas Korir, the first two athletes to cross the finish line in each event will get automatic tickets while the selection team will pick the third athlete.

“It is our standard criteria to the top two athletes and thereafter the selection panel will decide on the third athlete. We have used wild cards before and it has worked accordingly since it gives a chance to a top athlete who may have a bad day or may be sick,” revealed Korir.

Korir who is also a member of AK executive, revealed that preparations for the event are complete but allayed fears that top athletes may miss out on the trials as it comes at a time when many athletes are engaged in the ongoing Diamond League circuit.

“Everything has been put on place, our technical team has been camping at Kasarani and we are ready. I understand that the Games were brought forward and that may affect especially our athletes who are currently participating on the Diamond League,” said Korir.

Nevertheless, Korir has urged athletes not to skip the trials since they intend to form a strong team.

“We are trying to convince them to participate and understand that the dynamics of athletics is becoming regional and Africa we need to promote athletics the same way Europe and America are doing,” added Korir.

Elsewhere, the World Under-20 5000m Edward Zakayo has confirmed that he will be taking part in the trials.

The Commonwealth Games 5000m bronze medallist who is fresh from victory at the IAAF Diamond League in Rabat had earlier hinted that he would be skipping the event in preference for World Championships but has since confirmed he will be on the mix.