Africa Under-18 1,500m champion Vincent Keter ready to storm U20

Friday, July 30th, 2021 00:00 |
Vincent Keter celebrates after winning the World Athletics Under-20 national trials in Kasarani. Photo/SPORTPICHA

Africa Under-18 1,500m champion Vincent Keter will no doubt be among the star athletes during next month’s World Athletics Under-20 Championships here in Nairobi.

Based at the Rongai Athletics Club, Keter says he will be seeking continuity when competition gets underway at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, from August 17 to 22.

“It will be more of me trying to keep a tradition. Kenya is enjoying a phenomenal dominance of the event right now. I wouldn’t be the one to break the chain,” Keter told People Sport.

Timothy Cheruiyot and Elijah Manangoi, both world 1,500m champions, and World Under 20 champion George Manangoi all follow a similar training programme with Keter under the watchful eye of renowned middle distance coach Bernard Ouma.

There is more than  just running for the quartet, the Manangois are blood brothers, while Keter and Cheruiyot both hail from Silibwet village in Bomet County.

“Right now my focus is to take the mantle from George and become the Under-20 world champion.

As of now, most of the work has been done but just a bit of speed work is left before the championships,” Keter shared after his speed work session at the Kasarani Stadium on Wednesday.

Keter timed 3:38.85  to win the men’s 1,500m final early in the month during the national trials for the World Under-20. Emmanuel Lemama (3:42.05) and Simon Kipkogei (3:45.16) finished second and third respectively. 

Keter is confident the athletes currently in camp can fulfil the country’s expectations by putting in a monster performance at the sports cathedral home, Kasarani, in under 20 days.

“I am  confident of huge results all round during the global event. The athletes are young with a lot of hunger in them. Kenyans should continue praying for us to be in top shape,” he said.

Silently, his exploits on the track are motivated by his failure to secure a ticket to the Tokyo Olympics. 

“I am highly motivated to win the World Under-20 title after missing out narrowly on Tokyo.

So maybe we can say that the energy I have was left over from the national trials. I have also had good fortunes at the international level so I am feeling confident heading to the World Under-20.”

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