AK coach warns of complacency ahead of Nairobi WU20

The National junior team head coach Robert Ngi’sirei has warned athletes against getting complacent ahead of next year’s World Under-20 Championships.

The global event, which will be held in Nairobi, had been scheduled for July this year before it was postponed to August 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With the competition postponed by a year, Ngisirei has bemoaned the fact that some of the athletes will be locked out of the event due to age restrictions thus urging Athletics Kenya (AK) to quickly identify replacements.

Similarly, Ngi’sirei has urged the federation to set up a test run before the end of the year in order to identify the athletes.

“some of my probables including Jacob Krop, Fancy Cherono, Edna Jebitok and many more have already graduated to the senior level. If we cannot plan now for the championships in 2021 then we shall be beaten. What we have proposed that we need to have a local championship at the end of the year so that we can gauge ourselves,” said Ngi’sirei.

While the country awaits the final guidelines from the Ministry of Sports on the resumption of sporting activities in the country, Ngi’sirei has urged athletes to continue training individually.

“For the few athletes whom we have already identified, we are monitoring their progress in their respective camps so that they can continue training wherever they are,” he said.

Meanwhile, the World Athletics Council has selected Cali, Colombia, to host the 2022 World Under-20 event after the city hosted a successful World Under-18 Championships in 2015.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe congratulated Cali for its successful bid and said he was delighted that the global athletics community would return to South America in 2022.

“Our World U20 Championships are vibrant and youthful, so it’s entirely fitting that they should be held in a vibrant and youthful city. Cali now has substantial experience hosting major events and I’m sure will produce a championships with a typical Latin flavour,” said Coe.

He added, “Athletics in South America has a proud history going back more than a century and has produced some of the great stars of our sport, including the 2018 World Female Athlete of the Year Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia. I would hope that hosting the World U20 Championships will inspire a generation of young Colombians and South Americans to follow in her footsteps.”

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