Young runners maintain focus ahead of U20

Wednesday, August 26th, 2020 00:00 |
Athletes at Lemotit Athletics Training Camp before the coronavirus outbreak. Photo/PD/PHILIP YEGON

Athletes who were hoping to join the national team for the World Athletics Under-20 Championships slated for Nairobi next year are still upbeat they will make the cut.

Runners based at Lemotit Athletics Training Camp in Londiani, Kericho County, who were polishing their skills ahead of national trials before the event was postponed to next year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, continue to express hope they will succeed.

The camp is charged with preparing about 20 junior athletes to square it out with competitors from various camps for qualification to next year’s World U20 championships in Nairobi from August 17 - 22.

According to coach Paul Kemei, the athletes from the camp are upbeat on dominating top positions in different races during the national trials and subsequently representing Kenya.

“They are still raring to go like they were before various sports activities were suspended or postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus scourge.

They are promising athletes with a bright future and I have confidence in them making it to the national team when the time comes,” said Kemei.

He said although the camp is partially closed, the athletes have upped training individually at their respective homes following Ministry of Health’s protocols so as to keep  fit as they focus on the world event.

“I am in touch with them and I know how they are conducting their training,” said Kemei.

Among the junior athletes from the camp who are preparing for next year’s event is the 3,000m Youth Olympics silver medalist Mercy Chepkorir Kirarei.

“We were gearing up for the trials when suddenly sports activities were suspended indefinitely due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Right now we are preparing for next year’s world event and I am optimistic of doing well when time comes,” said Chepkorir, who won bronze in 3,000m during the 2018 Africa Youth Games in Algeria.

Another athlete is Isca Chelang’at who would have made her maiden appearance in the suspended Africa Cross Country Championships in Lome, Togo, after qualifying in 5KM to represent the country.

 Other athletes training are Ann Naashisho, who participated in last year’s East Africa School Games staged in Arusha ,Tanzania in 3000m.

 The World U20 Championships will now be held in Nairobi,, one week after the Tokyo Olympic Games. pandemic.

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