The IAAF World Relay Championship starts today in Bahamas, with Kenya athletes in high spirit to win several medals at the maiden competition, that will be used as a qualifying meet for the World Championships and the 2016 Olympic Games, to be held in Brazil.
Team Kenya hopes to strengthen their depth in the sprints with the addition US based Carvin Nkanata, currently among the fastest sprinters in the World.
Official reports from Bahamas indicate that 21 year-old Nkanata earned a coveted spot in the Men’s 4×200 meter relay set to happen this weekend after being chosen to anchor relay over Kenya’s silver medalist Boniface Khagai.
“I feel honored to represent Kenya in my first major international competition. I am ready to run fast and perform to the best of my ability,” Nkanata said.
He boasts an impressive resume, having coming won several US championships, and he also set a new national record in the outdoor 200 meters race with an impressive time of 20.17 earlier in April.
Kenya intends to field teams in four events for both men and women at the two-day inaugural IAAF World relays in which will be contested in several disciplines including 4x100m, 4x200m, 4x400m, 4x800m and 4x1500m.
“We are very determined to do well in the categories we have entered,” Athletics Kenya president Isaiah Kiplagat told journalists.
“We want to field a strong team that will show the world that Kenyans are not only a force in the middle and long distance but also in relays.”
A series of qualification meetings were held between March and April, with official trials in Nairobi on 26 April where best runners were picked.
They include some members of the 2010 African Athletics Championships gold medalists in 4x100m as well asvCommonwealth relay champions in Delhi, India, led by Anderson Mureta and Mark Mutai.
Kenya holds the world record for the men’s 4x800m at 7:02.43, set in Brussels in 2006, and the 4x1500m at 14:36.23, set in 2009 also in Brussels.
In the past Kenya has also achieved success in the 4x400m, winning the 1972 Olympic title and setting a national record of 2:59.63 at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.