NAIROBI, Kenya- Kenya Amateur Weightlifting Association (KAWA) Trials to select the team for the forthcoming Africa Weightlifting Championships and Youth All Africa Games will be held this weekend at Kitengela Community Gym.
Eight weightlifters will book slots for the Africa Championships to be held in Mauritius from August 13 to 17 with two others earning places in the Youth All Africa Games in Algeria next month.
“The games in Algeria will act as qualifiers for Youth Olympics to be hosted by Argentina in September,” KAWA President, Pius Ochieng, told SportPesa News.
“We expect 30 contestants in the trials that are expected to be competitive owing to limited slots for the international events,” he underlined.
Top players to fight it off in the various categories for men are Benjamin Osiemo Ochuma who is the 2016 Africa Youth and Junior 50kg silver medalist, Olympian James Omondi Adede who is also the 2007 East and Central Africa 94kg champion and Webstar Ndoli Lukoye (77Kg).
Contestants in the women categories should be ready to pin down All Africa Games 58kg triple silver medalist (clean, jerk and total), Winnie Chepngeno Langat and Winnie Atieno Okoth (63Kg).
All the five players above represented Kenya at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia where they gained vast experience in the trade.
The association warned players who will be selected not to relax as there will be eight others on standby.
“We will conduct another session in July to fine tune the squad, those found not up to the task will be duly replaced,” Ochieng underscored.
At the same time, KAWA is eagerly waiting for the new rules and weights to be released by world governing body, International Weightlifting Federation (IWF), in line with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
“Players whose classifications will not fall under those provided by IWF should be ready to re-adjust accordingly.
“This will affect our qualifications for international events. The new system by IWF will be based on individual effort and not team classification,” Ochieng emphasised.
“The new rules also state that a player has to take part in four international events within an Olympic circle in order to be eligible for Olympics.
“Some of our players have already taken part in the Commonwealth Games, so we are targeting the Africa Championships and the Olympics qualifiers, both in Mauritius this year, and the Commonwealth Championships in New Delhi, India, in 2019 to make them viable for the Olympics,” Ochieng stressed.