Kenya Olympic Trials Chaos: Nyayo Stadium’s Surprise Reopening Sparks Controversy

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– AK confirms Olympic trials at Nyayo Stadium.

– Stadium renovated for Africa Cup of Nations.

– Concerns over alternate venue’s certification.

– Yego, Chebet advocate for Nyayo reopening.

– Trials crucial for Olympic qualification.

After weeks of speculation, Athletics Kenya (AK) has officially announced the dates for the national trials for the Olympic Games, set to take place at Nyayo Stadium on June 14-15.

The stadium underwent renovations for nearly two months in preparation for the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations, leaving Kenya without a suitable venue for the trials after the closure of Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani.

Leading up to last month’s national championships and trials for the Africa Championships, athletes expressed frustration and concern over the abrupt closure of Nyayo Stadium, fearing that the alternate venue, Ulinzi Sports Complex, lacked certification for high-level competitions, potentially nullifying any records set there.

Olympic javelin silver medalist Julius Yego and women’s 10,000m world record holder Beatrice Chebet were among those advocating for the temporary reopening of Nyayo Stadium.

Their efforts have succeeded, with Nyayo Stadium now set to host the highly competitive trials as athletes vie for spots on the Olympic team bound for Paris.

Athletics Kenya Invites for Olympic Trials

Athletics Kenya (AK) has extended invitations to more than 250 athletes to participate in the upcoming national trials for the Olympics, scheduled to take place at Nyayo Stadium next week.

Expect an exhilarating display of talent across various track and field events as elite athletes vie for the opportunity to represent Kenya at the prestigious quadrennial games.

Fresh off her remarkable feat of breaking the world record in the women’s 10,000m at the Prefontaine Classic, Beatrice Chebet, the reigning world cross country champion, will be competing in the women’s 5000m event. She will face tough competition from the likes of world champion Faith Kipyegon, African champion Caroline Nyaga, and Agnes Ngetich, the current world record holder in the women’s 10km.

Kipyegon Set for year’s debut

Double world record holder Kipyegon who will be competing for the first time this year will also be in action in the women’s 1500m where stiff opposition awaits her in the form of Africa Games champion Mary Ekiru, the 2021 World Under-20 champion Purity Chepkirui and rising star Nelly Chepchirchir, among others.

The men’s version of the same race also promises fireworks, what with the involvement of African Games champion Brian Komen, the resurging 2019 world champion Timothy Cheruiyot, world cross country mixed relay champion Reynold Cheruiyot and the 2022 world indoor bronze medalist Abel Kipsang.

Having secured his place on the men’s 10,000m by virtue of finishing second at the Prefontaine Classic Nicholas Kimeli will be out to repeat the trick in the men’s 5000m where he will be meeting familiar faces.

Among those hoping to finish in the top three in the same race include the world 10,000m silver medalist Daniel Simiu Ebenyo, world 5000m silver medalist Jacob Krop and the 2022 world cross country junior champion Ishmael Kipkurui Rokito.

In the men’s 800m, many would expect world road mile record holder Emmanuel Wanyonyi to punch his ticket to his first-ever Olympics, although it won’t be easy considering the stellar startlist.

Those to keep an eye on in this one-lap race include the 2022 world indoor silver medalist Noah Kibet, United States-based Festus Langat, Commonwealth Games champion Wycliffe Kinyamal and Olympics silver medalist Ferguson Rotich, among others.

World 800m champion Mary Moraa will be in action in the women’s 800m where she will be joined by her baby sister, Sarah Moraa, Lillian Odira, the 2021 shuttle hurdles relay silver medalist Naomi Korir and Nelly Chepchirchir, among others.

Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Wiseman Were will be one of the busiest at the two-day event, competing in the men’s 200m, 400m and 400m hurdles.

Were has already secured Olympics qualification, having clocked 48.57 at the Kip Keino Classic in May.

Also a category to keep an eye on is the men’s 100m where Commonwealth Games champion Ferdinand Omanyala will be up against 20 other sprinters, including former national record holder Mark Otieno.

The last national trials for the Olympics — Tokyo 2021 — was a firecracker as far as this race is concerned with Omanyala and Otieno booking their tickets to the games.

It was also the first time Omanyala had beaten Otieno — clocking a then national record of 10.00 to secure first place.

All eyes will be on the duo to see what becomes of the latest episode in what has been normally a tantalizing competition between them.

Invited Athletes


  1.  Abraham kibiwot 
  2.  Conseslus Kipruto 
  3.  Leonard Bett
  4.  Simon Koech
  5.  Benjamin Kigen
  6.  Amos Kirui
  7.  Lawrence Kemboi Kipsang
  8.  Naibei Kiplimo Mayebei
  9.  Haron Kibet
  10.  Joash Ruto
  11.  Philip Korir
  12.  Philemon Kiplagat Ruto
  13.  Mathew Kosgei

400m Invited Men 

1. Ekwam Zablon 

2. Kelvin Tauta

3. Boniface Ontuga Mweresa 

4. David Sanayek

5. Kennedy Kimeu

6. Wiseman Were 

7. Eric Kimathi

8. Brian Tinega

9. Kevin Kipkorir

10. Moitalel Mpoke

11. Nathaniel Kipngetich

12. Joshua Wanyonyi

13. Kevin Kiprotich Tonui

14. Erastus Mbaluka

15. Dunson Kibet

16. Emmanuel Mutua

17. Elkanah Kiprotich Chemelil

18. Samuel Toili

19. Allan Kipyego

20. Gabriel Mutenkere Larmoi

21. Rodgers Puma

22. Jared Nyambweke Momanyi

Men’s 5,000m 

1. Daniel Ebenyo 

2. Jacob Krop

3. Stanley Waithaka Mburu

4. Bernard Kibet

5. Benson Kiplagat

6. Nicholas Kimeli Kipkorir

7. Samuel Chebolei Masai

8. Ishmael Kipkurui

9. Cornelius Kemboi

10. Ronald Kwemoi

11. Edwin Kurgat

12. Amon Kemboi

13. Andrew Kiptoo

14. Emmanuel Kiprop

15. Kibet Kandie

16. Kiprono Sitonik

17. Emmanuel Korir Kiplagat

18. Anthony Kibe

19. Athanas Kioko

20. Emmanuel Moi Maru.

 Men’s 100m 

1. Ferdinand Omanyala 

2. Meshack Babu 

3. Dan Kiviasi 

4. Mark Otieno

5. Hesborn Ochieng

6. Justine Isaboke

7. Tyson Juma

8. Samuel Chege 

9. Eric Kimathi

10. Charles Nyamwea

11. Stephen Oluoch

12. Dennis Nyongesa

13. Robinson Motende

14. Moses Wasike

15. Sylvester Simiyu

16. Innocent Kadima

17. Ronald Kiprono

18. Simani Regau

19. Elkana Sabila 

20. Edwin Omondi

21. Richard Ogutu Richie Mzandu 

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