Residential training starts on Sunday

By ronnie evans
Jun 15, 2017
  • Mercy Chepkirui is one of the top athletes in the team. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Athletics Kenya has announced that the young stars who were selected on Wednesday to represent Kenya in the upcoming World Under-18 Championship will start residential training on Sunday.

This comes at a time when the global event is now under a month away.

Kenya’s athletics pedigree will be tested as over 150 countries are expected to take part in the week long competition.

Team Kenya will be hosted at Milele Hotel in Nairobi when they start training and Barnabas Korir AK head of youth development, who has overseen the entire qualification process is confident of a good show by the hosts.

“These upcoming athletes have shown great promise from the pre-trials in Eldoret to the national games and also the trials. We have selected a strong squad that I believe will scoop many medals.”

Competing at home will give them an advantage and that is why we want to ensure that their preparation is smooth,” he said.

Korir also revealed that the head coach for Team Kenya is Kariuki Gikonyo while Barnaba Kitilit will be the team manager.

The over 50 athletes will have a chance to leave a legacy given that this will be the last competition in this age category to be organized by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

LOC give assurance

Despite fears of not being ready, the Local Organising Committee for the championship has given assurances that all is well in terms of preparation.

The setting up of a new tartan track at Kasarani Stadium, which is the competition venue, started earlier this week. “We are behind schedule but the work is already in progress and it is just a matter of putting the finishing touches,” LOC CEO Mwangi Muthee said.

This is contrast to the confidence he exuberated early this year when he teased that mock run of the event would be conducted on April 30.

Meanwhile, IAAF through a statement by CEO Olivier Gers who has been in the country to inspect the facilities and officially oversaw the start of the installation of the new track, gave a thumbs up on the preparations.

“A huge amount of work has gone into the preparation of these championships and I want to thank the organising committee and everyone across Kenya for the work they have put in.”

“We have the final push in the weeks ahead, finishing off, tidying up and making sure all the final elements are in place,” he said.

Among those tipped to shine at the championship include world under-20 5000m silver medallist Emmaculate Chepkurui, national 1,500m silver medallist Dominic Soget and sprint sensation Mary Moraa who is a triple champion at the national secondary school games.