Kenyan athletes to take trial for Commonwealth, African games

NAIROBI, May 29 (Xinhua) -- Kenya will stage a join trial competition to select its team for the Commonwealth Games and Senior African Athletics Championships in Nairobi on June 8.

This is to encourage more elite runners to compete at the Rome Diamond League meeting on June 5 and have enough time to rest before battling it out for the national team slots.

"It is important that we merge the two races. Many of our athletes will be in Rome and need one day rest on arriving back to effectively compete here in Nairobi," David Okeyo, the Athletics Kenya Vice President told Xinhua on Thursday.

Top stars eyeing the Commonwealth Games include Olympic 800m Champion David Rudisha, steeplechase king Ezekiel Kemboi, Eunice Sum, the 800m world champion and Mary Keitany, the marathon queen on her comeback from motherhood. "I want to compete in Glasgow, Commonwealth Games," said Rudisha. "But that will depend greatly on how my body reacts to the two races I intend to compete in -- Eugene and New York Diamond League meetings. "The Commonwealth Games medal is the only one missing from my collection and I believe I have the chance to get it this year," said Rudisha, in Nairobi on Wednesday before he jetted out to the USA.

Kenya intends to enter strong teams in both competitions. The 20th Commonwealth Games will have 11 days of top competition hosted in Glasgow in July and August. Having previously hosted the 1970 and 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, this will be the largest multi-sport event ever held in Scotland.

The Senior Africa Athletics Championships is planned for August 10-14 in Marrakech. The competition will help as preparation to African athletes for the next IAAF Intercontinental Cup, which runs from September 13-14 in Marrakech.