Simon Kimaru lines up for Kenya in the 4x100m at the 2010 Commonwealth Games (© Getty Images)
Kenya intends to field teams in all five events at the inaugural IAAF World Relays in Nassau in May.
The relay disciplines being contested in the capital of The Bahamas on 24-25 May are the 4x100m, 4x200m, 4x400m, 4x800m and 4x1500m.
“We are very determined to do well in the categories we have entered for,” Athletics Kenya vice president David Okeyo told national press. “We hope to constitute a strong team that will make the rest of the world feel our presence in the short distance competitions this time round.”
A series of qualification meetings will be held around Kenya between March and April with an official trial event being held in Nairobi on 26 April.
“We want to show the world that Kenyans are not only a force in the middle and long distance but also relays competitions,” said AK president Isaiah Kiplagat.
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.
The East African nation has also achieved past success in the 4x400m, winning the 1972 Olympic title and setting a national record of 2:59.63 at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.
The women’s national records in the longer events are also competitive. World champion Eunice Sum ran second leg on the team that set a Kenyan 4x800m record of 8:07.58 last year. Meanwhile, the women’s 4x400m national record of 3:28.94 was set back in 1987.
Kenya doesn’t have much of a tradition in sprinting events, but their national records of 39.40 and 45.24 for the men’s and women’s 4x100m would be realistic targets when their teams line up in Nassau.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF