Wanyonyi sets eyes on national trials, Cali bid
Heristone Wanyonyi, the World Under 20 walk race champion says he has matured enough and therefore is in a better position to defend his global title in August.
Wanyonyi will lead the Nairobi Region team to the national trials for the 2022 World Under-20 Athletics Championships on Friday morning with his 10,000m race the first event of the day.
“I am now mature compared to the athlete I was when I won the historic global title last year. I am a better person on and off the track. I have even been enrolled at the National Police Service college after my good performance,” said Wanyonyi.
Wanyonyi was named in a squad of 27 athletes that was picked two weeks ago following a one-day Athletics Kenya Nairobi Region trials at Kenya Prisons Nairobi West ground.
“I want to start well at the nationals because that will act as a learning curve, I get to see the areas to improve in my racing,” said Wanyonyi.
Race walk team
The national trials are due on July 1 to 2 at the Nyayo National Stadium while the 2022 World Under 20 Athletics Championships will take place from August 1 to 6 in Cali, Colombia.
Wanyonyi, who finished fourth at the World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships on March 4 this year, was picked together with Stephen Ndagiti in the men’s 10km race walk team for Nairobi.
“I am happy to make the team and I hope to fully recover from the right thigh strain that saw me fail to start at the Africa Athletics Championships in Mauritius,” said Wanyonyi.
He added: “I wanted to finish on the podium in Mauritius but the injury happened. I am now working on my speed work on track since 10,000m requires speed, unlike 20km.”
Wanyonyi, made history as the first Kenyan to win gold in race walk at a World Athletics Championships after winning the men’s 10,000m at the 2021 World Under 20 Athletics Championships in Nairobi.
Wanyonyi is among the 415 athletes from 14 regions across the country that will compete for limited slots at the trials where only the first two will be picked to make the team.
Kenya will be seeking 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).