First on finish line qualifies, says AK
Athletics Kenya says said that only the first athlete to cross the finish line during the national junior trials starting today at the Nyayo National Stadium will automatically qualify for World Under 20 Championships from August 1 to 6 in Cali, Colombia.
AK president Jack Tuwei said the panel of selectors will be tasked to pick the second athlete where applicable since the maximum number of athletes per event in the junior category is two.
“This is an invite-only championship, where those who will take place must have must have qualified, meet the age requirement and must have met the anti-doping conditions,” said Tuwei yesterday during a press conference at Riadha house Nairobi. Tuwei said he expects stiff competition when 415 athletes from 14 regions across the country compete for an opportunity to represent the country.
“This is one competition we have never missed since the competition started in 1986 and we have done extremely well over the years. I don’t expect less in Colombia,” Tuwei said.
Tuwei referred to the previous two editions of the championship where Kenya has topped the medal standings as the standout editions.
“As Kenya, we are seeking to claim a third overall title in a row after winning in 2018 Tampere, Finland where the team bagged 11 medals (six gold, four silver and a bronze) and in Nairobi last year where the medal haul stood at 16 (eight gold, one silver and seven bronze),” he added.
The qualification period started on 1 October 2021 and ends three weeks before the competition which will be July 18th. Head coach Robert Ngisirei said most sprinters and field event athletes are yet to meet the required standard.
“We have two boys hurdlers 400m who have met the qualification mark. We also have several 400m athletes who have met the standards. We are also hopeful the shorter version sprints will qualify because they are not far away,” said
Ngisirei while clarifying that hammer and pole vault are the only events that athletes will not compete in during the trials.
Meanwhile, 1500m runner Raynold Kipkorir is likely to participate twice: at the trials and during the main competition in Cali.
Kipkorir was fourth-placed during the national trials for the World Athletics Championships and Commonwealth Games last Saturday and is riding on the good form while also possessing the world-leading time in 3000m this year.
“I want to see how the events will be scheduled in Cali, if it is favourable then I will participate in both because I feel I can go for gold in the two events,” Kipkorir who got a personal best of 3:34.77 last week said after a morning training session at the Nyayo Stadium.