Rono shines as World Under-20 trials begin

Rono shines as World Under-20 trials begin

Africa 3000m junior bronze medallist Gideon Rono won the 5000m race as the preliminary trials for the World Under-20 Championships kicked off Friday at the Nyayo Stadium.

Athletics Kenya (AK) is using the two-day event to select probable athletes ahead of the postponed World Under-20 Championships slated for August 17-22 next year in Nairobi.

With the event attracting more than 500 athletes, AK opted to go for time thus most of the events were held through several heats.

Rono who hails from Torongo Camp in Baringo County clocked 13:33.5 followed by Victor Kimtai who finished second in 13:46.8 as Levi Chematot placed third in 13:47.5

Rono said he had adequately prepared for the race as he seeks to make the cut for the national team for the global event that was postponed by a year owing to Covid-19 pandemic.

“I really want to earn a slot in the team and that is why I have been working hard despite the challenges brought about by coronavirus,” said the form four student at Sinonin Secondary School.

In the girl’s 3000m Judy Chepkoech reigned supreme in 9:02.8 as Marion Cheruiyot (9:11.4) and Winnie Kimtai (9:25.5) finished second and third respectively.

Purity Chepkirui of Keringet clocked 4:15.8 ahead of her training partner Daisy Chepkorir who placed second in 4:21.8 with Faith Chepkoech closing the podium.

AK Youth Committee chairman Barnaba Korir said they are targeting to pick at least 60 athletes for further training ahead of the main trials that will be held next year in July.

“The event we are having is the first pre-trial, we will have another similar event April next year before the main trials in July. We actually want to assess and spot the probable athletes who will make the team and at the moment we are targeting between 60-70 athletes,” said Korir.

The event will conclude on Saturday with the selected athletes set to join various training camps in December.