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Home >> Sports
UPDATED: 08:56, August 02, 2006
Kenya gear up for African athletics championships
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Kenyan three-time world 3,000m champion Edith Masai and steeplechaser Jeruto Kiptum have reported to camp to gear up for the African Athletics Championships slated for August 9-13 in Mauritius.

Coach Dan Muchoki said the double national champion Masai and Kiptum reported to the national athletics training camp on Monday, adding that only three athletes were yet to report to camp expecting the trio by the end of the week.

"I have spoken to Ezekiel Kemboi, Shadrack Korir and Alfred Kirwa and they should be here by Thursday," Muchoki said by telephone on Tuesday.

Muchoki said he would help Kiptum to improve her hurdle jumping technique.

"She has had problems clearing the barriers and we have to help her improve because she loses valuable seconds by slowing down when she approaches the barriers," Muchoki said.

Masai will run the 10,000m with Emily Chebet and Irene Kwambai. Also in the 5,000m team are Olympic silver medallist Isabella Ochichi, and Irene Kwambai.

On her part, Jeruto, who recently beat world champion Docus Inzikuru, said intense training had helped her floor the Ugandan.

"It was a result of hard work and training and I believe if I train harder, I will beat her again in Mauritius," she said.

Muchoki said that they were putting keen emphasis on the relay squad for the continental event.

"If the relay team qualifies in Mauritius, it will get to represent the country at the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing and that is why we are putting a lot of work in preparing it to ensure we secure qualification," Muchoki said.

Masai had earlier said she would take part in the 10,000m only.

But team manager David Kilundo said they were still talking and there is possibility that she may enter both events, depending on the schedule.

World 10,000m bronze medallist Moses Mosop and John Korir, will be the only representative over the distance while Ismael Kombich, Alex Kipchirchir and Alfred Kirwa will represent Kenya in the 800m.

The African championship will be important for runners as it serves as the qualification race of the World Cup in Athens in September.

Source: Xinhua

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