READY TO RUMBLE: Chebet and Kipyegon to lead Team Kenya to global competition in Cali, Colombia
Medalists at this year’s Africa Youth Championships in Mauritius showed imperious performances at the two-day national youth trials at Nyayo National Stadium to book their tickets for the forthcoming IAAF World Youth Championships in Cali, Colombia, on July 15-19.
Kenya, a long and middle distance powerhouse, will send a strong 26-person team that includes Africa Youth champions Emily Chebet, Sandra Felis Chebet and Vincent Kipyegon, who hope to add another silverware at the global event.
As expected, African Youth champion Sandra Felis Chebet had little challenge en route to winning the girls’ 2,000m steeplechase to stop the clock at 6:16.19, followed by Celephine Chespol, who clocked 6:16.19.
In the boy’s 2,000m SC, another African youth champion Vincent Kipyegon, a form three student at Sotid Secondary in Bomet, timed 5:27.17 ahead of Geoffrey Rotich (5:30.17)
“Since coming back from Mauritius in April, I have been working extra hard to secure this ticket to Cali. Now that it’s here, I will be going for the gold at the World Youth (Championships),” said Kipyegon, who is coached by John Kimetto under his Silibwet Athletics Club in Bomet.
Some good times were recorded in the boy’s 800m when Willy Tarbei clocked 1:44.51 followed by Kipyegon Bett 1:44.55.
In the 1,500m, Africa youth bronze medalist Janeth Jepngetich (4:20.12) won despite a strong challenge from Joyline Cherotich (4:20.89). Another Africa Youth champion Taki Kumari of Ntimama Secondary in Narok, ran away with boys’ 1,500m, Lawi Kimutai (3.41) was second.
Speaking when naming the team, Athletics Kenya Acting President, Jack Tuweii, urged the team to work hard to keep the country’s running glory.
“Competing at the world stage means a lot, and must be taken seriously. All the effort must be kept in order to bringing medals home,” said Tuweii.
Vice President David Okeyo believes Kenya is taking a strong and experienced team capable of bringing great achievements.
“The performance here even surpasses our expectation and that’s a clear indication that will be replicated in Colombia. Most of the athletes were in Mauritius for Africa Youth thus have enough international experience."
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