By CHRIS MUSUMBA
Kenya’s Jonathan Ndiku (L) and Kenya’s Jairus Birech compete in the final of the men’s 3000m steeplechase athletics event at Hampden Park during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland on August 1, 2014. AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK
Olympic Champion David Rudisha will not defend his 800m title at the IAAF Continental Cup in Marrakech, Morocco, next week, but Kenya still has nine athletes in a strong Africa team of 88.
Rudisha, who has struggled to establish his dominance in the two-lap race, has only one race left in Birmingham, a 600m event, after which he will go on holiday. However, his countrymen will be lining up in Marrakech from September 13-14 for the 2014 IAAF Continental Cup.
Among the male stars of the team are 800m runners Nijel Amos, the winner of the Diamond League Trophy and Mohammed Aman, the World Indoor Champion. Kenya team will be led by World 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop, Africa javelin winner Julius Yego and 3,000m steeplechase Commonwealth games champ Jairus Birech as well as Birech, Obiri make Africa team for Continental Cup.Egypt’s Ihab Abdelrahman, who leads the 2014 world javelin lists.
On the women’s side, particularly notable names include World 800m champion Eunice Sum, Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare, the Ethiopian distance trio of Genzeba Dibaba, Almaz Ayana and Hiwot Ayalew, the latter winning the 3,000m steeplechase Diamond Race in Zurich on Thursday.
The 2014 IAAF Continental Cup will have four teams competing against one another – Americas, Africa, Asia/Pacific (Asia and Oceania) and Europe.
During the last championships in Split City, Americas ruled the roost claiming 422.5 points ahead of Europe 417, Africa 293 and Asia/Pacific 290. Each team shall enter two athletes for each individual event and one team (of maximum six athletes) for each relay. No athlete shall be allowed to double in the 3,000m and 5,000m. Only one athlete from any one country may compete in each individual event. Each team may also enter up to a maximum of three overall reserve athletes.
The Africa team was selected during the African Senior Championships (Marrakech, 10-14 August 2014), the same with Europe, who had their continental championships in Zurich from August 12-17. Asia-Pacific and Americas will pick their teams based on rankings. The winner of each individual event will score eight points, the second will score seven, the third six. In relay events, the scoring shall be: 1st – 15 points, second 11, third seven and fourth three points.
Courtesy of standardmedia.co.ke