Juniors fired up for WU20 Trials

Juniors fired up for WU20 Trials

Fireworks are expected when the Athletics Kenya (AK) preliminary trials for the World Under-20 Championships kicks off on Friday at the Nyayo National Stadium.

More than 500 juniors will congregate for the two-day event that will culminate in the selection of athletes that will undergo specialized training ahead of the global event that is slated for August 17 to 22 next year, in Nairobi.

The biennial event was initially planned for this year before it was postponed by a year due to coronavirus.

AK youth sub- committee secretary Barnabas Kitilit said they are leaving nothing to chance as Kenya seeks to defend her 2018 title won in Tampere, Finland.

“We are determined to have the best preparation for the event and that is why we are starting this early. We learnt a lesson from the 2017 World Under-18 Championships where we were the hosts and finished the event a distant fourth,” said kitilit.

The federation selected the competing athletes based on quota allocation with Torongo Camp in Baringo county having the largest contingent of athletes.

Ahead of the event, athletes from the various training camps and regions arrived in the capital on Thursday with some having a taste of the track at Nyayo.

Idah Perec from Riruta Camp in Nairobi is hopeful of making a mark in long jump and triple jump as she targets to make the cut for the national team.

“My target is to represent the country next year. It has been tough training alone at home but I am happy I am now with my coach and I am now ready for the trials,” said the form one student at St Ann’s Kiboko Secondary School in Makueni.

Perec trainer Caroline Kola is also confident her athletes will put on a good show with Nairobi set to host a specialised training camp for sprints and field events.

Kericho-based Dennis Maritim exuded confidence of making an impression on the coaches to earn a slot in the team that will be subjected to rigorous training ahead of the main trials set for May next year.

“We have been training well in Kericho and now I am focused on putting in a good show in the trials,” said Maritim.

Kitilit explained that athletes will compete in all events apart from pole vault.