Saruni: We are not ready to finish behind any other country

By emmanuel sabuni
Jul 11, 2017
  • The inclusion of athletes in field events and sprints could enhance Kenya's chances of winning the IAAF World under-18 championship in Nairobi. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

David Saruni, the Kenya captain has thrown down the gauntlet ahead of the IAAF World under-18 championship saying the team aims for the top spot when the event starts on Wednesday.

The entrant in 400m hurdles, was optimistic that they are not ready to finish behind any other country ‘We can't be second to any other country under my leadership,” the captain stated.

“We used to finish second or third in the championships because we lacked athletes who could compete in the sprints but currently, we have better sprinters in the team, making it easy for us to dominate the games,” Saruni explained.

He has a personal best time of 51:05 and admits South African Zazini Sokwakhana whose personal; best is 48:84 will provide a healthy competition.

Coming from Oloirowa in village in Narok County, Saruni said the current team is the best since they have included competitors in field events and they cannot allow the title to slip.

The team is under pressure to deliver at home as hosts after losing the team title in 2015 in Cali, Colombia after finishing second behind the United States of America who are not in Nairobi.

“Having field events will add flavor in the competition. But dealing with Sokwakhana will be tricky and we have to beat him no matter what happens,” added Saruni.

He drew inspiration from the senior team which topped the world at the 2015 Beijing championship.

Saruni was accompanied by Beatrice Onyango who will compete in 100m. 

The form two student at Kowour Mixed ran her personal best of 12:41 but is targeting 11:05 in the final race of the championship for a gold medal.

“I have been training very well with my coaches and winning gold is my target. This is my first time to compete in world championships and I have to prove my worth in the event,” said Onyango.

New kid Christabel Abuti will be in contention for gold in hammer. The Form Four student at Moi Girls Kamusinga threw 34:95 but aims a further throw of more than 40 meters.

“I am ready for the championships and am not afraid of anyone on the field,” said Abuti, the only Kenyan in Hammer throw.

Opening day timetable (Wednesday)

Morning session

9:30 - 100m decathlon, junior boys

9:55 - 100m, boys' round one

10:25 - Long jump, decathlon (boys)

10:40 - Discus, girls' qualification

10:50 - 1,500m, round One

11:20 - 400m, girls' round one

11:40 - Shot Putt (5kg), decathlon (boys)

11:50 - 400m, boys' round one

Afternoon session

16:55 - High jump, decathlon (boys)

17:00 - 100m, boys' semi final

17:25 - Triple Jump, boys' qualification

17:30 - Hammer  (5kg), boys' qualification

17:40 - 800m, boys' round one

18:15 - Shot Putt, girls' final

18:25 - 400m, decathlon (boys)

18:35 - Hammer, boys' qualification

18:45 -100m girls' round one

19:20 - 100m, boys' final

19:40 - 3,000m, girls-final