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Athletics Kenya keen on lining up the best athletes during World Under-20 Championships

ATHLETICS By Odero Charles | June 21st 2021
Athletes compete in 1500m during the Nairobi region pre trials for the World Under 20 Championships Trials at Nyayo stadium. [Standard Sports]

Athletics Kenya is keen on lining up some of the best athletes during the World Under-20 Championships that shall be held at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani in Nairobi on August 17-23.

Various regions have already selected a team that will be heading to the national trials that are expected to go down on July 1-2 at Nyayo Stadium.

Fancy Chepkorir (left) and Ann Wanjira compete in 5000m during the Nairobi region pre trials for the World Under 20 Championships Trials at Nyayo Stadium. [Standard Sports]

During the pre-trials across the country, some names popped up and they will be the athletes to watch during the competition ahead of team naming by the federation.

In the Central Rift region, there are various camps but some of the athletes proved too good and they will be trying their luck in representing the country in the global event.

Emmanuel Wanyonyi from Kamoiywo Camp headed by the former 800m world champion Janeth Jepkosgei is one of the athletes to watch after doubling up in the 400m and 800m races where he bagged victory.

Wanyonyi, a form one student at Kosirai High School and has been guided and coached by Claudio Berraldeli and Janeth Jepkosgei, believes that he has what it takes to bring the title home in August.

“My training is going on well and I believe in the next few days I will be able to finalize my programme and run a good race during the trials,” he said.

Fancy Chepkorir on her way to win the 5000m race during the Nairobi region pre trials for the World Under 20 Championships Trials at Nyayo Stadium. [Standard Sports]

Sylvia Chelangat who is a form three student at Lelu Secondary School in Kericho County will feature in the 400m and 800m as she balances her academics with sports, a thing she loves.

“My aim is to make the team and my build-up has been good so far. I’m happy because I managed to get a good foundation under Janeth Jepkosgei who has always been my mentor,” said Chelangat who promised fireworks during the two-day event.

Eyes will also be on the Africa 3,000m Under-18 champion Emmanuel Kiplagat from Torongo camp in Baringo County who will be eyeing a slot in the 5,000m race.

Kiplagat shelved his plans to compete during the Olympic Games trials last weekend so that he can prepare adequately for the race.

He said that many athletes are training for the race which will be competitive but he will be doing all he can to make the team.

Faith Cherotich clears the water barrier in 3000m steeplechase during South Rift Region pre trials for the World Under-20 Championships Trials at Kericho Green Stadium. [Standard Sports]

“I will be looking forward to representing my country once again in the world event and I know all the youths who have qualified are looking forward to the race and it will be competitive. I’m finalizing my programme and I’m sure in the next one week I will be ready for the race,” said Kiplagat.

Kenya will be seeking to defend the title won in 2018 during the Tampere games where it bagged 11 medals (6 gold, 4 silver and a bronze) beating Jamaica to second place.

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