AK replace three on team Kenya ahead of 14th edition of Confederation of Africa Athletics (CAA) under-20 Championships

By Brian Murumba: Friday, April 12th 2019 at 10:21 GMT +3 | Athletics
Beatrice Chebet on her way to 5000m finals during the U-20 athletics trials at Kasarani Stadium in 2018 [Courtesy]

With the 14th edition of the Confederation of Africa Athletics (CAA) under-20 Championships just around the corner, Athletics Kenya are busy reshaping their team ahead of the event.

This is because injuries and age cheating have been a major concern in recent times.

In response to this, the country’s athletics body has replaced three athletes in the national junior team that is set to represent Kenya at the event that will be held on Saturday in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

According to the overall team manager Elizabeth Keitany, Dolphine Omare of Keroka Athletics Camp will step in for crocked Agnes Chebet in 5000m while Sammy Chebolei, who was ejected from the camp over age cheating will be replaced by Bravin Kipkosgei.

Another replacement in the camp features Ronald Kipng’etich who was replaced by Hillary Mossop in 3000m steeplechase.

“We had issues with his age and he would not properly explain himself and therefore we decided to replace him,” said Keitany.

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Travel issues have also been a concern as the national team prepares to travel to West Africa. As a result, AK have made arrangements to avoid upsets caused by last minute pull outs and have named world Under-20 and Africa 5, 000m champion Edward Zakayo and Francis Leshoo as backup in case some athletes fail to secure their passports ahead of the trip.

The omission of Leshoo from the travelling team raises some eyebrows as he recently bagged a gold medal in 800m at the ANOCA Youth Games in Huye, Rwanda.

Despite the challenges facing AK, youth committee chairman, Barnabas Korir is determined to keep fighting for a better future and revealed the use of vetting to arrest the age cheating problem.

“We did another vetting exercise in the camp to ensure we have the right athletes to represent us in Ivory Coast. Some of those who have been replaced have issues with their documentation,” Korir explained.

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