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Big dreams as budding athletes clash at Under-20 national trials

ATHLETICS By Jonathan Komen | July 2nd 2021
Vincent Keter (466) leads pack in the 1500m Men Semi-Final 2 during the Athletics Kenya Trials World U20 Championship at Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani in Nairobi, Kenya on July 01, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

The first day of World Under-20 Athletics national trials at Kasarani Stadium produced some exciting talking points.

Big dreams, redemption and upsets remained quite visible as a mix of experienced juniors battled a crowded field of upstarts in the chase for slots to World Under-20 Athletics Championships that run at the same venue on August 17-22.

The contest, which concludes tomorrow, saw athletes who have made the national team fire warning shots in middle distance races.

Africa 3000m champion Emmanuel Kiplagat won men’s 5000m semi final one without much fuss in 13:56.86 ahead of Benson Kiplagat (13:57.49) and Reuben Mosin (13:58.47).

Kiplagat, who wore the continental crown in Ivory Coast in 2019, said he longs to become Africa and World champion.

Kiplagat, who completed Form Four at Kaptimbor High School in Baringo last year said: “I have won the Africa 3000m title but I need gold in 5000m. I know it is possible. I only need to plan well.”

Levi Kibet, who won men’s semi final two, also boasts a similar script in what promises fireworks in the finals tomorrow.

Kibet, a Form Three Student at Kosirai High School in Nandi, longs to improve his school’s world under 20 pecking order in 5000m.

He said: “I have prepared well. While a student in our school, Mathew Kisorio won silver at the World Under 20 Championships in Poland in 5000m in 2008. I think it’s time I deliver a gold medal for our school. I have a lot of confidence that I can do it.”

Rookies are also keen to break the duck and wear the national team colours.

Faith Chepkoech, second in women’s 1500m semi final one, wants to make debut in national team.

“This is my time. I really want to represent the country,” she said.

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