Chepkosgei, Kipyego bemoan World Under-20 postponement

Chepkosgei, Kipyego bemoan World Under-20 postponement

Africa Youth 800m silver medalist Sheila Chepkosgei was left to rue the postponement of the World Under-20 Championships.

The biannual event which was slated for July 7-12 in Nairobi was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic with Chepkosgei one of many athletes who had set their sights on a global title.

Having bagged a silver medal a year ago in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Chepkosgei said she was now ready to upgrade to a gold medal.

“My aim was to win a gold medal and I was doing my best in training. Last year in Ivory Coast although I won silver, I realized that I had not done enough and I was confident this time I would manage a gold,” Chepkosgei told Citizen Digital.

The 18-year-old is among the athletes selected by Athletics Kenya (AK) for its holiday training programme in Kaptama, Bungoma County in the build up to the global event.

In the programme, 19 camps were set up across the country to facilitate the training of prospective athletes that would have culminated in the national trials that were due for June.

Food Aid

With the advent of the pandemic and all camps now closed, Chepkosgei and her compatriots received food aid and a cash stipend from AK on Saturday to cushion them as the economic effects of the virus bite.

The athletes were drawn from the Western region- Busia, Kakamega, Vihiga and Bungoma counties.

At the same time, Chepkosgei who hails from Kapsokwony in Mt Elgon, Bungoma County bemoaned the lack of training facilities in the region.

“We are really suffering here because we do not have a field to use for our speed work. Here, we only train on the roads,” said Chepkosgei.

Rolex Kipchoge, the trainer of the athlete said the form three student at Friends Moi High School, Kaptama is destined for greatness.

“This girl is very good and we are giving her every support she needs to develop her career. I assure you she is going to be the next (Janet) Jepkosgei,” said Kipchoge.

Another athlete in the camp, Allan Kipyego is also worried about his chances of competing in the rescheduled championship having already turned 19.

The athlete placed fourth in 400m at the African Junior Championships in Ivory Coast.

” My target was to win a gold medal for Kenya but I am now uncertain if I will compete since I will be turning 20 in September,” said Kipyego.

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