More than 500 junior athletes in Nairobi for two-day under 20 pre-trials

Friday, November 20th, 2020 01:09 |
Barnaba Kitilit addressing junior athletes during a recent function. Photo/PD/FILE

Ericson Kiprono and Phillip Yegon

Over 500 junior athletes will today converge at Nyayo stadium for a two-day pre-trial event for the World Under-20 Championships.

The two-day national event will be used by Athletics Kenya (AK) to gauge athlete’s preparedness ahead of the postponed global event that is slated for Nairobi between August 17 to 22 next year.

Kericho-based athletics coach Gabriel Kiptanui, however, raised concerns that the trials being held abruptly my find some top athletes unprepared and as a result, they may be committed in the selection yet they are some of the best in the country.

“I am not opposed to the trials. I am simply expressing my fears that top cream athletes could be locked out from representing the country during next year’s major athletics event because they may skip tomorrow’s trials or participate when they are not properly prepared,,” Kiptanui said.

He singled out budding athletes studying in both Primary and Secondary schools as the hardest hit lot because the learning institutions were closed in order to beat the virus.

Kiptanui of Kericho Athletics Training camp said his camp is sending three upcoming athletes for the trials. They are, Victor Kimutai who will participate in 10,000M, Faith Chepkoech (1500m) and Maxwell Kiptoo (400m).

According to the AK Youth Sub-Committee secretary Barnaba Kitilit, they are looking towards identifying probable athletes ahead of the main trials to select the national team which is planned for May next year.

“The event is meant to bring athletes together to compete and showcase their talents so that we can see our future champions as we look forward to the main trials set for April or May.

We will have 502 athletes and our task is to compare their time and their potential so that we can work on them,” said Kitilit.

More on Sports