Juniors asked to enjoy the championships without subjecting themselves to unnecessary pressure

Monday, August 9th, 2021 00:00 |
Kenya’s junior athletes and Athletics Kenya officials during the unveiling of their World Athletics Under-20 Championships kit yesterday. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

Team Kenya’s World Under-20 kit has been distributed to athletes ahead of the biennial championships that gets underway at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, on August 17.

Athletics Kenya (AK) Youth Development Committee chairman Barnaba Korir on Sunday presided over the kit distribution in an exercise held at the Sports View Hotel, Team Kenya’s pre-championships bubble camp. The pack had competition uniforms, training kits and ceremony wear, with Korir clarifying that spikes will be delivered on Tuesday.

Korir implored the athletes to enjoy the championships without subjecting themselves to unnecessary pressure associated with such events.

“I want to encourage the athletes, team to approach the games as part of entertainment, it is not a matter of life and death.

The essence is to have fun because this is part of your development process,” Koriri told the juniors.

Referring to the just concluded Tokyo Olympic Games where Team Kenya  athletes were subjected to unnecessary pressure especially from overly expectant fans, Korir advised juniors to be cautious.

“Sports is a vehicle for teaching, the winning and losing outcomes are completely secondary to the teaching of valuable  life lessons. 

“We are hosting the championships so they can help you know how to handle adversity and failure, overcoming fear and obstacles while learning to believe in yourself,” Korir, who doubles up as Local Organising Organising Committee member for the championships, told the athletes.

Korir was accompanied by Dr David Karuri, the Deputy Director, Medical, for the junior championships who challenged the athletes not to lower their guard as they enter the penultimate week before the Championships.

He said the priority remains making sure the athletes are Covid-19 free at all times.

Crucial  tests

“Our primary role is to ensure there are strict covid safety rules in place before, during and after the championships.

It will be our role to limit what competitors, officials and other essential persons can do and where they can go, and athletes and others are being tested daily or after every 48 hours,” said Karuri.

He said all 45 Team Kenya athletes will be subjected to a final covid-19 test before heading to Ole Sereni Hotel, official  team Kenya hotel for the competition.

“On August 12th we will undertake the crucial tests. Only covid negative athletes will proceed to camp,” he said.

Team Kenya General Team Manager Elizabeth Keitany applauded AK for ensuring the athletes who have been in camp for three weeks are well taken care of.

“The athletes are excited because most of them will be representing Kenya for the first time. 

I can confirm that all athletes and officials have received all the items they need ahead of the games scheduled to start on August 17,” said Keitany.

Meanwhile, Emmanuel Lemama, who placed second during the kenyan trials last month has been replaced by Kamar Etiang in the men’s 1,500m race . 

 “Lemama requested to be replaced after sustaining an injury. We assessed the situation and therefore saw it fit to replace him with Etiang who was unlucky not to represent Kenya at the Tokyo Games,” said Korir. 

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