Nakuru-based camp confident of producing medals at next year’s event

Thursday, December 19th, 2019 12:00 |
Some of the junior athletes currently training at Keringet Training Camp ahead of next year’s World U20 Championships in Nairobi. Photo/PD/AMOS ABUGA

Keringet Athletics Training Camp in Nakuru County is confident of dominating national selections for the 2020 World Under-20 Championships in Nairobi.

Twice as many times in the biennial championships, no camp in Kenya has produced more athletes or medals for the national team, having done so in Bydgoszcz Poland (2016) and Tampere, Finland (2018), where 19 out of 26 team Kenya athletes have come from the South Rift camp located in Kuresoi South Constituency.

It’s not by surprise that Athletics Kenya (AK) earmarked the camp as one of the 14 government-sponsored training bases across the country that will be used to prepare team Kenya for the championships from July 7-12.

According to head coach Charles Ng’eno, the camp is like a river that never dries up, having existed since 1996.

While there has been a number of top athletes from the camp, most recently Olympic champion Faith Chepng’etich and World 800m bronze medallist Ferguson Rotich are standout graduates from the camp.

Big prospects

Just like the many world beaters who have gone through the camp, Ng’eno is certain many athletes will announce their status in Nairobi next year.

Presently, World Under-20 1,500m silver medallist Edna Jebitok, Africa Under-18 3,000m champion Zenah Chemutai and silver medallist Deborah Jemutai are some of the big prospects for Kenya next year.

“These are some of the athletes who are not only hopeful of making the team, but also huge medal prospects,” Ngeno said during the countrywide AK camp tour on Tuesday.

“The level of discipline, dedication and commitment from the youngsters is admirable, something that is humbling. We know they have a bright future,” he added.

While the camp has over 100 junior athletes, 50 have been absorbed in the Under-20 programme that commenced on November 18.

Of those, 27 are boys and 23 are girls. They currently train from Keringet estate grounds while staying at Keringet Boarding Primary School.

“We don’t only focus on track events. We have three boys in the shot put and another one in high jump currently in camp. I believe we shall send a strong team to Nairobi next year,” he affirmed.

AK Nairobi branch chairman Barnabas Korir said Keringet region has high altitude and well-organised athletes and coaches, who have been training on their own for the Championships.

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