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Commonwealth Games Diary: Kenya seeks golden finish in athletics calendar in Birmingham

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 7 – The athletics calendar, and effectively Kenya’s campaign at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, United Kingdom, comes to a wrap on Sunday and the country will be seeking a golden finish to add on to their medal haul.

Here is the order of events for Team Kenya on the final day on track at the Alexander Stadium.

12:45pm – Men’s 400m Final

Boniface Mweresa will be Kenya’s lone ranger in the one-lap race, and he will be out to clinch his first ever global championship medal.

Mweresa showed a man in good form in the preliminary round races as well as the 4x400m relay Heats, and it is this shape that he looks to bring on to the final.

He lines up in a tough final and among the faces he should expect a stiff run from includes Uganda’s Haron Adoli who just managed to beat him in the semis as well as home boy Mathew Hudson-Smith.

1:20pm – Men’s 10,000m race walk Final

Samwel Gathimba. PHOTO/Courtesy

After Emily Ngii won bronze in the women’s event on Saturday, it will be Samwel Gathimba’s chance to bring a medal home.

Gathimba has huge pedigree having won the African championship thrice, including this year’s event in Mauritius and also clinched bronze at the 2018 Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

He arrives in Birmingham fresh from Oregon where he just but missed out on a medal having finished fourth in the 20km walk. This year however, he clinched bronze at the World Walk Race Championship in Oman.

The English duo of Callum Wilkinson and Tom Bosworth will look to use their home advantage to battle for medals while Australians Declan Tingay and Kyle Swan are also forces to reckon with.

2:40pm – Men’s 4x100m final

Ferdinand Omanyala storms to second place in the Heats of the men’s 4x100m at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. PHOTO/Kelly Ayodi

This will be one of the races that Kenyans will be highly anticipating as new poster boy Ferdinand Omanyala goes on show once again.

Omanyala expertly anchored the team to the final, aiding them to a second place finish in Saturday afternoon’s semi. They will be out to clinch another medal and possibly gold, adding on to the African title they won in Mauritius two months ago.

It is expected to be a tough final with England and Nigeria posting good times enroute to the final.

9:20pm – Women’s 1500m final

In the absence of Faith Kipyegon, Winny Chebet and Edinah Jebitok will be tasked with defending Kenya’s pride in the women’s 1500m race.

The duo finished third in their respective semi-finals and after a not-so-good outing at the World Championships, Jebitok and the reigning African Champion Chebet have their work cut out.

Home-girl Laura Muir who won bronze in the women’s 800m will be up to searching for another medal in her specialty race while more competition is expected from the Australian duo of Jessica Hull and Linden Hall.

Uganda’s 2019 World Champion Winnie Nanyondo will also be one to watch out for.

9:35pm – Men’s 800m Final

EUGENE, OREGON – JULY 21: Wyclife Kinyamal Kisasy of Team Kenya competes in the Men’s 800m Semi-Final on day seven of the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 at Hayward Field on July 21, 2022 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images for World Athletics)

Defending champion Wycliffe Kinyamal will be out to successfully retain his title in the two-lap race, as well as make up for a disappointing outing at the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, two weeks ago.

On paper, Kinyamal is the fastest in the field, but he should be wary of Australian Peter Bol who showed good tacts in the preliminary races.

9:40pm – Men’s Javelin final

Former World Champion Julius Yego comes into the final hopeful of earning a medal after failing to move out of the preliminaries at the World Championships.

The ‘YouTube man’ has barely breached the 80m mark this season, only doing that once at the Kenyan trials in June.

The Gold medal winner from Glasgow 2014 has his hopes high on achieving a medal. He will be joined in the Kenyan colors by his protégé, Alexander Kiprotich.

Granada’s Anderson Peters, the reigning World Champion is the man to watch out for in this final alongside Pakistan’s Asrshad Nadeem.

9:45pm – Women’s 5,000m final

Silver medallist Kenya’s Beatrice Chebet (L), gold medallist Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay (C), bronze medallist Ethiopia’s Dawit Seyaum pose on the podium during the medal ceremony for the women’s 5000m during the World Athletics Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon on July 23, 2022. (Photo by Ben Stansall / AFP) (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)

Beatrice Chebet and Selah Busienei have been lined up to fly the Kenyan flag in the 5,000m race. Chebet, 22, is a former World Under-20 5,000m champion and comes to Birmingham with the glory of clinching silver at the World Championships in Eugene two weeks ago.

With the absence of Ethiopians, Chebet will fancy her chances and will look towards good teamwork running with the lesser known Busienei.

Serah Chelangat and Stella Chesang will offer opposition from the Ugandan end, the East African neighbors having emerged as Kenya’s rivals in long distance running.

10:30pm – Men’s 4x400m relay

The quartet of Wiseman Were, William Mbevi, Boniface Mweresa and William Rayian will look to get Kenya a relay medal. Mweresa will be coming in a few hours after his 400m race and will hope to have won a medal to spur him to perform well.

Mbevi and Were missed out on medals in the 400m Hurdles race and will definitely eye redemption in this race.

The Kenyan team has posted the slowest time this season in the final, but they will leave all that at the door and hope for a perfect performance.

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