(Colorado Springs, CO) ADP athlete Betsy Saina (Nike) will compete against some of the most accomplished long distance runners in the world in Nairobi, Kenya, on Friday, with the goal to earn a spot on the Kenyan national team in the 10,000-meters for the IAAF World Athletics Championships to be held in Beijing, China, in August.
Saina, who in 2014 posted the fastest road 10k of the year with her 30:46 win in Tilburg, Netherlands, comes into the Kenyan trials with the second fastest track qualifying mark of 30:57.30, behind World Championships and Olympic Silver Medalist Sally Kipyego’s 30:42.26.
Of the 24 invited athletes, only six have the World Championships standard of 32:00 or faster. But, as a testament to the depth of Kenyan distance running, five athletes also earned a world championships qualifier with a top 15 finish from March’s World Cross Country Championships, which were also held in China. These runners include Stacy Ndiwa, Emily Chebet, Irene Cheptai, Janet Kisa and Margaret Kipkemboi, who finished 5th, 6th, 7th, 12th and 13th, respectively.
But other world-class accomplished athletes will also toe the line, making these trials as competitive as, or more so, than the world championships themselves. These include Vivian Cheruiyot, 2012 Olympic 5k Silver Medalist and 10k Bronze Medalist; Selly Chepyego, 2014 World Half Marathon Bronze Medalist and 7th in the 2013 World Championships 10k; Gladys Cherono, 2014 World Half Marathon Champion and 2013 World Championships 10k Silver Medalist; and Joyce Chepkirui, 2014 African 10k Champion.
The Kenyan 10,000-meter trials will select the top two finishers to the World Championships team, with the third being selected from a list of qualified athletes by Athletics Kenya based upon recent results.