Team Kenya: 29 selected for World U-20 Championships
A talented young squad of 29 athletes has finally been selected for the World Under 20 Championships set to be held on August 1 to 6 in Cali, Colombia.
Athletics Kenya (AK) president Jack Tuwei urged the young athletes to represent the country well and come back with medals.
He warned that the championship will not be easy and urged athletes to up their game if they are to keep up with the competition on the other side.
"As you go to Cali, I know you are going to defend the title we have held for the last two editions. Don't expect an easy ride because every athlete across the world has prepared for the competition. You have to make sure you work closely with your coaches so that they guide you," said Tuwei.
"The youth are the future of this generation and I am looking forward to see all of you in the next World Championships in Budapest and Olympics in Berlin. I want to wish you all the best as you prepare for the championship,” added Tuwei.
Part of the solid team to Cali include; defending champion 1,500m Purity Chepkirui, World Under-20 3,000m SC bronze medallist Faith Cherotich and defending champion 10,000m walk race Heriston Wanyonyi.
"My speed has gone down and if I don't work on it, I could have problems at the global show. I want to go back to the drawing board and sort things out," explained Chepkirui who admitted to improving her overall speed if she is indeed ready to defend her title.
"Running with the seniors has given me motivation to work hard and I have also learnt new tactics. I will be graduating to senior races next year and I am also excited about it," added Chepkirui. Chepkirui finished first in the women’s 1,500m race in 4:08.08 while Cherotich clocked 9:18.25 to win the women’s 3,000m steeplechase.
AK youth subcommittee chairman Barnaba Korir also credited the tough competition witnessed among the athletes to intensive preparations by the federation.
“Last year, we managed to defend our title here at home after defeating the likes of the United States in Tampere. All this has been made possible by the support of AK and the Government even for the camps that we had around the country. We were even able to send a group of sprinters to Miramas for a training camp,” explained Korir.
Men: 10,000m walk: Herristone Wanyonyi; 400m-H: Peter Kithome, Allocious Kipngetich; 5000m: Samuel Kibathi, Shadrack Rono; 1500m: Daniel Kimaiyo, Reynold Kipkorir: 800m: Brian Kiptu, Noah Kibet; 3000 SC: Emmanuel Wafula, Peter Rono; 3000m: Michael Temoi, Edwin Kimosong; 400m: Elkanah Chemelil, Samuel Toili.
Women: 10,000m walk: Margaret Gati; 15000m: Purity Chepkirui, Brenda Chebet; 3000m: Betty Chelangat, Nancy Cherop; 800m: Nelly Jepchirchir, Evelyne Chepkoech; 3000m SC: Faith Cherotich, Diana Chepkemoi: 5000m: Maurine Cherotich, Jane Gati; 400m: Damaris Nduleve, Sylvia Chelangat; Long jump: Winnie Chepngetich.