All set for Central Rift World U-20 pre-trials

Sharon Ndanu (left) competes with Ruth Kanim during Athletics Kenya Southern Region Track and Field Athletics Under-20 pre-trials women's 5,000 metres race at Machakos Boys High School, Machakos on May 8, 2021.

What you need to know:

  • Athletics Kenya’s youth development committee chairman Barnabas Korir says they decided to hold multiple selection meetings because of abundance of talent
  • Africa Under-18 Championships’ 3,000 metres gold medallist Emmanuel Kiplagat, who has been training in Torongo, Baringo County, will be one to watch in the 5,000m race and is upbeat
  • From Central Rift, the pre-trials will head to Western, South Rift, Nyanza South, Nyanza North and Nairobi with the last event scheduled to be held in Central region on June 12



The build-up towards this year’s World Athletics Under-20 Championships in Nairobi intensifies Saturday with Kapsabet hosting the latest round of Athletics Kenya’s pre-trials.

Action will be at the Eliud Kipchoge Sports Complex and will see athletes from Nandi, Baringo and Uasin Gishu counties square it out, seeking to catch the Team Kenya coaches’ eye for the August 17-22 championships that will be held at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Athletics Kenya’s youth development committee chairman Barnabas Korir says they decided to hold multiple selection meetings because of abundance of talent.

The first pre-trials were held in Nairobi in November.

“The event will help us identify probables in various categories and we want to follow them up so that by the time we get into trials, they will be in good shape and able to represent the country well,” said Korir.

Africa Under-18 Championships’ 3,000 metres gold medallist Emmanuel Kiplagat, who has been training in Torongo, Baringo County, will be one to watch in the 5,000m race and is upbeat.

“It has been long since we competed, but I will be setting my eyes on a podium finish as one way of preparing for the trails ahead of the games. My target is to represent my country and it starts here after good preparations,” said Kiplagat.

Nelly Jepchirchir, an 800m specialist who has been training under former senior world 800m champion Janeth Jepkosgei in Kapchemoiywo Camp in Nandi County, is also one to watch. She will double up in the 400m and 1,500m, a decision she made to “sharpen” her skills for the two lap-race.

“I will be competing in the 400m race to gauge my speed and 1,500m for endurance, but my specialty is 800m in which I want to represent Kenya. It has been a tricky affair training in a small group due to the coronavirus pandemic which affected us since last year, but we are happy we can line up and compete again,” said Jepchirchir.

Other athletes to watch today include Sylvia Chelangat in the 400m race and Emmanuel Wanyonyi in the 800m. After the pre-trials events across the country, Athletics Kenya will then identify a number of youths who will be training in various camps before the trials that shall be held on July 1 and 2 at the Nyayo National Stadium.

Jepkosgei told Nation Sport that she is confident more talents shall be identified.

“Age caught up with those whom we thought would represent Kenya last year before the championships were postponed, but a new crop of young talents is coming up which is a good sign,” said Jepkosgei, world 800m champion in Osaka 2007.

From Central Rift, the pre-trials will head to Western, South Rift, Nyanza South, Nyanza North and Nairobi with the last event scheduled to be held in Central region on June 12.

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.