Chepkirui and Kibet lead Kenya's team to World U-20 meet in Cali

World Under--20 champion Purity Cherotich on her way to victory in the 1500m at the World Championships trials at Nyayo Stadium. [Courtesy]

Purity Chepkirui and Noah Kibet are part of Kenya’s team that was named by Athletics Kenya (AK) yesterday ahead of the World Under-20 championships in Cali, Colombia.

The squad of 15 boys and 14 girls was picked after two days of explosive action at the Kenyan trials held at Nyayo Stadium.

The two-day championship attracted 415 athletes from 14 regions which enabled AK to pick the squad for the World Championship slated for August 2-7.

At the last edition Kenya won the title with 16 medals; eight gold, one silver and seven bronze and the country will be seeking to win the global team title for the third consecutive time.

Reigning World Under-20 1,500m champion Chepkirui will partner with  Brenda Chebet having finished first and second in the women’s 1,500m finals.

“I was not feeling well but I thank God for the victory. My aim is to defend my title in Colombia. However, I am not under any pressure,” Chepkirui said.

Noah Kibet who landed a wildcard will carry the national flag in men’s 800m alongside Brian Kiptum who emerged victorious in the men’s 800m finals.

“I came prepared for this race as I knew it would be very competitive. I thank my coaches in Ndura Camp for the training in preparation for the trials. I promise to do my best in Cali and make sure we defend our title,” Kiptum said.

Faith Cherotich who was in her own class in the women’s 3000m steeplechase is was also named in the team.

The world bronze medallist aims at upgrading her performance to the top prize in Cali.

“I believe I still have some work to do especially when it comes to speed considering the trials wasn’t difficult as I had predicted.  After winning a bronze last year, I want to upgrade to a gold medal,” Cherotich said.

Winny Chepng’etich, 18, saved the best for last, scaling 6.20m in her third and final jump to win, beating the qualifying standard of 6.10m.

Chepng’etich,18, finished 12th in triple jump during the World Under-20 Athletics Championships last year in Nairobi.


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