Kenya's star race walker Heristone Wanyonyi Wafula is planning to compete at the Accra 2023 African Games and Budapest World Athletics Championships this year ©Getty Images

Heristone Wanyonyi Wafula, who in 2021 became the first Kenyan race walker to win a world title in any age category as he claimed world under-20 gold in the men’s 10 kilometres event in Nairobi, is set on an African Games and World Championship double this year.

Wanyonyi, who finished fourth in the senior men’s 10km at last year’s World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships in Muscat, Oman, in a national under-20 record of 45min 18sec, told The Star about his plans after winning a national race at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu.

"I’m happy to have emerged winner on my return to the track," said Wanyonyi, who has just finished a stint at Kenya Police Training College in Kiganjo.

"I’m now done with police training because it was not easy to balance athletics and college.

"I will now turn focus on training for the African Games and World Championships.

"I also hope to represent Kenya at next year’s Olympic Games in Paris."

The General Service Unit officer spoke after clocking 43:32.6 to beat 2017 world under-18 bronze medallist Dominic Ndigiti, whom he has previously described as his "inspiration", into second place, with Stephen Ndangili finishing third.

"I am now focusing on speed work and endurance in training as I seek to attain a qualifying mark in the 20km race ahead of World Championships and Olympics," Wanyonyi added.

Ndigiti, meanwhile, decried the lack of training facilities in his Nyamira backyard.

"We don’t have a proper track in Nyamira which forces me to travel all the way to Kisii for training," added Ndigiti.

"Despite those challenges, I’m working hard and looking forward to a fruitful season."

Elsewhere in Athletics Kenya’s first track and field weekend meeting of the season the women’s national 100m record holder Maximilla Imali dominated the 100m and 200m races, winning both events and anchoring her team to victory in the women’s 4x400m relay.

"My target is the World Championships this year and maybe the Olympics next year," Imali said.

She won the 200m in 23.9sec, beating Mercy Chebet, who clocked 24.5.

In the 100m she won in 11.5 ahead of Chebet, who recorded 11.7.

Moses Wasike won the men’s 100m and 200m in 10.2 and 20.9sec respectively.

The action moves to Nyayo National Stadium for the second weekend meeting on February 24 and 25.