Hard work begins as AK picks junior athletes for WU20 program
After two days of thrilling action at the Nyayo Stadium, Athletics Kenya (AK) is set to reveal junior athletes to undergo further training in preparation for next year’s World Under-20 Championships.
The pre-trial event concluded on Saturday with a series of scintillating performances from the budding athletes who are eyeing top prize at the biennial event slated for August 17-22 in Nairobi.
Haron Kibet of Silibwet Camp took top honours in the boy’s 3000m steeplechase when he clocked 8:43.7 ahead of Amos Serem of Kapsait who came home second in 8:44.4 as Emmanuel Kiprop of Bomet finished third in 8:46.4
Kibet, the Africa 2000m junior steeplechase silver medallist said he was ready for the battle as he eyes a podium finish at the global event.
“It was a good race though it was also competitive but since I had prepared well my target was to win today. I am now looking forward to earning a slot in the national team and win gold medal at the championships” said Kibet.
Dorothy Kimutai of North Rift stormed to victory in the corresponding girl’s race after clocking 10:04.4 followed by Edna Chepkemoi of Keringet who timed 10:05.0 while Betty Chelangat of Nyanza settled for the third spot in 10:16.6
In the boy’s 800m, Noah Kibet of Trans Nzoia triumphed in 1:47.1 with Emmanuel Lemama (1:49.2) and Emmanuel Mutua (1:49.4) both of Southern region finishing second and third respectively.
In the corresponding girl’s race, Nelly Chepchirchir won in 2:07.3 with Sheila Jepkosgei placing second in 2:07.4 as Eunice Boke closed the podium in 2:10.8
AK Youth committee chairman Barnaba Korir disclosed that the committee will meet on Tuesday to reflect on the performances posted by the athletes and thereafter develop an elaborate plan for their training.
“I am very happy with the performances we saw from these young athletes it shows that we have a lot of talent and if well nurtured will dominate the world next year,” said Korir.
Kenya won the overall title at the 2018 championships held in Tampere, Finland and despite most of the athletes having crossed the age limit, Korir is still hopeful Kenya will have a strong team.
According to Korir, the federation is targeting at least 60-80 athletes to undergo specialised training to sharpen their arsenal ahead of the global event.
“We are receiving a lot of support from the government and it is in our plan to set up a camp here in Nairobi specifically for the field events,” he said.