Bydgoszcz, here comes Kenya’s next gen champs!
World Youth champions in Kumari Taki and Sheila Chelagat are among those that made Kenya’s potent squad of 24 that will chase honours at the 16th IAAF World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland following the conclusion of the Trials on Thursday.
Also making the team for the competition re-shaped to the World Under 20 Championships is Moses Koech, the Youth Olympics 3000m bronze winner and Sandrafelis Chebet who bagged the second medal in the girl’s steeplechase in Cali last year.
Athletics Kenya (AK) rolled out the squad when action in Day 2 of the selection event that unfolded at Nairobi’s Nyayo Stadium under cold and humid conditions with intermittent showers at the punishing altitude of the Kenyan capital ended.
Competing in his 1500m speciality, Taki will be gunning for a hat-trick of gold in his decorated age running career after winning Africa and World youth titles last year.
Taki from South Rift ran away with the 1500m men honours by clocking 3:38.8 in a tight contest with Edwin Kiptoo who also secured a place in the team by finishing second in 3:39.0 ahead of the winner’s teammate Anthony Kiptoo who took third in 3:39.5.
Koech finished second in 13:38.4 in a race that was dominated by Wesley Lendema who claimed victory in 13:42.2 to stun the favourite as as Nicholas Kimeli closed the podium in 13:44.4.
Cali World Youth silver winner, Richard Yator Kimunyan and the 2014 Africa Junior cross silver medalist Andrew Lorot crashed out of the running fading to the sixth and seventh in 13:47.3 and 14:00.2.
“My aim today was to win and make it to the team. After I won yesterday’s heats I was confident to make it today.
“I was worried by Koech and Lorot, had who defeated me during last year’s trials and even went to compete out of Kenya. I knew Lorot was not in shape this year and I strategized on how to make the team I really fought hard coz everyone was very aggressive,” the winner told.
Steeplechase specialist; Chebet underlined her supremacy in the 3000m by clocking 9:02.0 for the victory as Sheila Chelangat also secured her place in the team by following her home in 9:11.6 to lock out Betty Chepkemoi was further back in the bronze position.
“I followed my coach’s advice he told me to pull out of the pack during the last four laps I did that and truly I made it only Chelangat who followed me. I continued with the plan and she was not much of a threat to me.
“Though my sister did not make it I believe l shall come with a medal and represent my family and country well,” Chebet underscored.
Mofatt Ngari also booked himself a ticket in the men 200m event where he is out to set a national junior record in Bydgoszcz.
Ngari had set the unofficial local standard of 10.05 in the 100m event during last year’s East Africa Secondary School Games in Rwanda.
The sprinter who hails from Central is the only short distance runner who impressed selectors after dipping under the World Junior qualifying standard of 21.50 by winning his event in 21.20 ahead of Geoffrey Kiprotich (21:43) and Elijah Matayo (21.94).
Athletics Kenya rolled out the squad when action in Day 2 of the selection event that was held at Nairobi’s Nyayo Stadium where some coaches expressed reservations about slots being reserved for athletes taking part in the ongoing 20th CAA Senior Championships Durban, South Africa.
Veteran junior coach Robert Ngisirei will head the team and they are expected to report to camp on June 28 before departing July 15. The championships will start July 19-24.
Wanjiru Moffat Ngari 200M , Edwin Ngeeti, Kiprotich Geoffrey 400M, Nicholas Chirchir, Langat Emmanuel Kipyegon 400MH, Bett Kipyegon, Tarbei Willy Kiplimo 800m, Kumari Taki , Edwin Kiptoo 1500m, Vincent Kipyegon Ruto, Kirui Amos 3000m S_C, Ledama Wesley, Moses Koech 5000m, Kwemoi Rodgers, Kirui Ronald Kiprotich 10000m
Sigei Betty Chepkemoi, Josephine Chelangat 800M, Mbithe Winfred, Cherotich Joyline 1500m, Tuwei Sandrafelis Chebet ,Chelangat Sheila 3000m, Celphine Cheptek, Betty Chepkemoi 3000m S/C, Emmaculate Chepkirui, Catherine Syokau 5000m