|Athletics Kenya CEO Isaac Mwangi meets 5000m runner Moses Mukono during the launch of junior team's camp on 11-07-2014. The teams leaves on 17th for IAAF Junior Championship in Eugene, USA.PHOTO/DENNIS OKEYO|
Members of Kenya’s squad to the 15th International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Junior Athletics Championships are exuding confidence ahead of the contest that runs in Eugene, Oregon, USA, from July 22-27.
The 26-member squad, which is billed as the biggest team in Kenya’s World Junior history, adopted a new and more modern training regimen at the YMCA residential camp in South C, Nairobi.
Under the guidance of coach Andrew Maritim from junior athletes gold mine of Kiptere in Kericho County, the 15 boys and 11 girls who make the team have overall captains and spiritual leaders –Valentine Mateiko and Raymond Kibet – which is a departure from the previous order.
They have set huge targets at the bi-annual global contest thanks to the intensive training programme that include monitoring of anxiety levels and mental preparedness.
While on a visit to the camp, Athletics Kenya vice president in charge of logistics and youth affairs Jack Tuwei said the squad was the most professionally prepared team in the recent past.
“I am delighted with the spiritual guidance and now foresee a good performance in Eugene. This is a good move by your team manager and the coaches,” he said.
Kenya will be seeking to recapture the overall title they last won in Moncton, Canada, in 2010 when they amassed 15 medals –seven gold, four silver and four bronze.
“We have had a nice good training programme here,” head coach Andrew Maritim said “We are now assessing the athletes on various aspects of their mental strength.”
Team captain Alex Sampao was confident of a successful outing but asked AK to support sprinters.