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Commonwealth Games Diary: Omanyala back on the track, medals galore on offer for Team Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 6 – Ferdinand Omanyala returns to the track barely two days after his historic 100m victory at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, while there will be plenty medal offers for Team Kenya on Saturday.

Here is how Team Kenya lines out as the curtains start rolling up on the Club Games.

12:30pm – Women’s 10,000m race walk final

Kenya will be represented by 2019 African Games champion Emily Ngii in this race with a narrow field of nine. The distance has been halved for this year’s Games, the competition having been in a 20km distance in Gold Coast, 2018.

Ngii returns to the Commonwealth Games for the first time since 2010, Delhi, India, when she finished sixth with Grace Wanjiru winning bronze.

Defending champion Jemimah Montag of Australia will be back to defend her title while compatriots Rebecca Henderson and Katie Hayward have also posted impressive times this season.

1:50pm – Men’s 3,000m steeplechase final

Photo/NEW YORK TIMES

With Kenya having lost the prestigious crown at both the Olympic Games and the World Championships, pressure will be on the Kenyan trio of former world champion Conseslus Kipruto, training partner Abraham Kibiwott and World Under-20 Champion Amos Serem to restore the respect.

With a narrow field of nine, it is widely expected that the Kenyan trio have what it takes to sweep the podium. The only one who has run a closest time to them this season is Indian Avinash Mukund Sable who has clocked 8:12.48, with all the three Kenyans on sub 8:10s season best.

2:57pm – Men’s 4x100m relay Heats

Ferdinand Omanyala became Kenya’s first Commonwealth Games 100 metres champion justifying his decision to switch from rugby to the track. PHOTO/Kelly Ayodi

Ferdinand Omanyala returns to the track once again and he looks to contribute in another historic run, this time in the men’s 4x100m relay.

The 27-year old anchored the team to the African title and he hopes to do the same once again, teaming up with Dan Kiviasi, Samwel Imeta and Mike Mokamba.

Mokamba and Kiviasi reached the semis of the men’s 200m while Imeta reached the final of the men’s 100m.

They hope to follow in the footsteps of the men’s 4x100m team who also slid into the final after winning their heat.

The Kenyans should be wary of the Ghanaians who have clocked 38.07 this season while the Nigerians are also in this heat and they have clocked a season’s best time of 38.35.

3:10pm – Men’s 1500m final

Having failed to clinch a medal at the World Championships a fortnight ago, former World Champ Timothy Cheruiyot and Abel Kispang will be keen to make amends with the final of the men’s event this afternoon.

They will get into the final seeking to win the crown, but should be wary of the reigning world champion Jake Wightman who beat them in Eugene as he will also be racing infront of his home crowd.

Fellow Scot Josh Kerr will also be one to watch in this race.

9:45pm – Women’s 800m final

Mary Moraa looks comfortable after finishing the 800m at the Commonwealth Games. PHOTO/Kelly Ayodi

Mary Moraa will be Kenya’s lone ranger in the women’s two lap race as she looks to upgrade her bronze from Oregon to gold.

It will be a tough race for Moraa as she will have to contend with Keeley Hodgkinson who clinched silver ashead of her in Oregon while natoya Goule of Jamaica who finished fourth in the race two weeks ago will also be in contention.

Laura Muir, a 1500m specialist will also be in this final and the Scot will be banking on home support, same as England’s Hodgkinson to battle for a medal.

Halima Nakaayi, Uganda’s 2019 World Champion is also in the race.

10:10pm – Men’s 5,000m final

Jacob Krop, fresh from winning silver at the World Championships in Oregon will lead Kenya’s charge in this race as they seek to recapture the title won by Caleb Ndiku in 2014.

Nicholas Kimeli who failed to win a medal at the Worlds will also be in this race seeking for redemption and will be joined by compatriot Cornelius Kemboi.

Once again, they will have to contend with Ugandan opposition, Jacob Kiplimo attempting a double after also having won the 10,000m race.

Once again, just as it was in the 10,000m, this is expected to be a Kenyan and Ugandan affair.

10:45pm – Men’s 400m Hurdles final

The last race on medal offer for Kenyans will be the 400m Hurdles with William Mbevi and Wiseman Were representing the flag.

The duo are seeking to win a rare medal for Team Kenya in the hurdles and will battle up with a tough field that includes Jamaica’s Jaheel Hyde.

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