Kiptoo eyes medal for Kenya at World U20 Championships
Franklin Kiptoo is confident of winning a medal at the World Under-20 Championships after making it to Team Kenya at the National Trials held at Kasarani Stadium last week.
Kiptoo was among five athletes from the South Rift region who were sponsored by betting firm Bangbet during last month’s South Rift region’s pre-trials held at Lorna Kiplagat Training Complex.
The others were Reuben Mosin (5,000m), Evans Kipruto (triple jump, long jump and 400m hurdles), Lydia Cheruiyot (3,000m) and Shalyne Chemtai (3,000m steeplechase), all from Siyoi Training Camp in West Pokot County.
However, while all five qualified for the trials, only Kiptoo made it to the national team and he is keen to take full advantage of the opportunity when the global junior event takes place from August 17-22.
“It is great to make the notational team. Unlike in the regional pre-trials where I easily won, here it was tough.
I wanted victory but I am glad to be on the podium. I now look forward to winning a medal for Kenya because being at home, we have to make the country proud,” said Kiptoo, who clocked 7:58.70 to finish third in the men’s 3,000m final, behind second-placed Daniel Kinyanjui of South Rift (7:55.96) and winner Bernard Yegon, also from South Rift, who timed 7:55.01.
Kiptoo had stormed to victory in the second semi-final, clocking 8:03.20, but even his improved time was not enough to win in the final.
“I want to train well and ensure I am in top shape during the championships.
Bangbet came to our aid at the regional event and I hope they continue supporting more talents at the grassroots,” he added.
Bangbet, Kenya’s best odds site, has been supporting upcoming sports personalities at the grassroots in a bid to ensure the talent does not go to waste.
Besides the athletes, Bangbet also supported a women’s football tournament in Siaya County, whose final was held last month, with participating teams getting kits, balls and cash rewards, this coming after a similar initiative in Nairobi in March dubbed ‘Champe wa Mtaa.’