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Vincent Keter shines at Nairobi under-20 pre-trials

ATHLETICS By Dennis Okeyo | June 9th 2021
FILE: Vincent Keter leads the 1,500m field during the Under-20 pre-trials at Nyayo Stadium on November 20,2020. [Dennis Okeyo, Standard]

Rongai Athletics Club duo of Vincent Keter and Jonathan Kipkoech were among athletes who booked a ticket to represent Athletics Kenya Nairobi branch at the World Under 20 national trials after obliterating their respective fields during the regional pre-trials held at Nyayo Stadium on Wednesday.

Keter easily won the 1,500m race and immediately revealed that he is keen on both the U20 global championships and the Olympic Games.

“This was quite easy for me,” he said.

 “It’s like a warm-up before I leave for Sweden tomorrow (Thursday) ahead of a race on Sunday, in which I hope to attain the 1,500m Tokyo Olympics qualification time.”

He clocked 3:54.2 ahead of Victor Mutai (3:54.6) and Tenai Kipruto (3:56.3).

In the 5,000m final, Kipkoech clocked 14:01.6 to romp home although under a challenge from Denis Kipkirui and Victor Chepkwony, who clocked 14:03.7 and 14:16.0 respectively.

Lang’ata trio of Diana Chepkemoi, Miriam Chemutai and Daisy Chepkorir swept the podium in the women’s 1,500m in respective times of 4:34.1, 4:34.3 and 4:41.5 to make the Team Nairobi for the national trials.

Chepkemoi said she feels she has what it takes to not only make her international debut but also deliver the goods when the world assembles at Moi Stadium, Kasarani in two months.

“I feel I have trained well and my hope is to make the World U20 team and hopefully grab the title at Kasarani,” said Chepkemoi.

Nairobi Region became the fourth to host the pre-trials after Southern, South Rift and Central Rift with the rest expected to conduct their events starting with Nyanza South this morning while the others are primed for action this weekend.

The Athletics Kenya Youth Development officer Barnaba Korir said the regional pre-trials have helped them understand where they are at the moment with the biggest shortcoming identified on both sprints and field events.

“Our focus is to see that sprinters and field event athletes get the assistance they deserve to ensure they are a complete package when the time comes. We have realised that this is our weak link and we are trying now to see how we can rectify this,” said Korir.

“In addition, we have had a very big problem with Covid-19, which disrupted the school system, our main source of both U18 and U20 athletes. This has brought a lot of confusion but we are heading in the right direction going by how the pre-trials have been.”

Meanwhile, Athletics Kenya central region will hold a regional under 20 Athletics championship and trial on June 12 at Thika stadium.

All upcoming athletes, men and women born between 2002 to 2004 are urged to attend, according to the regional Chairman David Miano.

“Wish to ask parents teachers with those talented individuals to assist them to come and try their luck informing the regional team to the National trial, and finally the world under-20 championship at Kasarani Kenya later in the year.”

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