Manangoi Jr leads World U18 stars for Trials
The IAAF World Under 18 Championships medalists will headline the World U20 Championships trials set for June 11-12 at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani Nairobi.
The World U18 1,500m champion George Manangoi, 3,000m silver and 5000m Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Edward Zakayo and 400m silver medalist Mary Moraa will be among the stars on show as they seek to represent Kenya at Ratina Stadium in Tampere, Finland on July 10-15.
“After wining the Under 18 title I felt motivated to achieve more and follow my brother’s footsteps. I will be hunting top podium place in Finland. I’m confident of my training have tested it in Doha and Rome Diamond League series. Though in Rome I picked a knee injury in the first 100m but it is now fully recovered,” said Manangoi.
On the other hand Zakayo will be relaying on the experience gained during the Commonwealth Games held in Gold Coast Australia from April 4-15 to grab the 5000m title.
“Since coming from Gold Coast, I have been training for this trials and finally it’s here with us, I expect strong a challenge but I’m pretty sure I will overcome them.
Commonwealth Games experience was massive for me, I really learnt a lot from the championships and I will be using that experiencing to my advantage at the trials” said Zakayo.
While teenage sensation Mary Moraa ‘Kisii Express’ will be in the hunt for her first global title after bagging a rare medal in sprints last year at Kasarani during the last World U18 Championships.
“You know Nairobi has high altitude, so I expect sub-64 seconds performance and make it into the squad, I’m confident of making it and going for top in finish at the IAAF World Under-20 Championships” said Moraa.
Also 2018 Africa Cross Country junior men champion Rhonex Kipruto and silver medalist Stanley Waithaka will hunting slots in Team Kenya in the boys 10,000m and 5,000m respectively after a motivational perfomance in Algiers, Algeria in April.
Others who made through the vigourus vetting done by Athletics Kenya headquaters in Nairobi on Sunday 10, include the 800m under 18 duo Jackline Wamboi and Lydia Jeruto who ended Kenya’s eight year drought in the discipline with a gold and silver at Kasarani.
Leonard kipkemboi Bett will be huning the boys 3000m steeplechase title to add to his 2000m steeplechase one while silver medalist Dominic Ndigiti will be in the persuit to make history in the boys walking race.
The team will be coached by the experinced Robert Ngirisei who lead Team Kenya in scooping the overall title during the 2010 World Junior championships in Moncton Canada in 2010.
During the last Championships held in Bydgoszcz, Poland,in 2016 Kenya won five gold medals, two silvers and two bronze finishing second behind USA.