The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: 'Stop the Mess'

Athletics Kenya (AK) chairman Isaiah Kiplagat has sent out a stern warning to teachers who are fond of sneaking athletes out of the country.

Kiplagat said teachers are colluding with agents to take athletes out of the country without permission of guardians and the federation.

"We have received reports about athletes who are stranded in Venezuela, Philippines, Mexico and Italy and we at the federation are just wondering how they got there without our permission," added Kiplagat.

The AK boss made the remarks during a breakfast meeting where they hosted the victorious Kenya youth team which arrived yesterday from the World Championships in Donetsk, Ukraine.

He said teachers have become stumbling blocks in the successful development of junior athlete in the country. "We are having a big problem with teachers because they are working in cohorts with the agents to sneak athletes outside the country without our knowledge," he added.

The president congratulated the national youth for finishing second overall at the world event.

"I would like to commend the team for coming second overall at the global show. We had very few athletes but coming second overall is no mean feat," he noted.

Kiplagat asked them National Olympic Committee to have a database and monitor the medal winners from the just World youth championships. "This are the athletes who will most likely represent the country at the Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro so we must keep track of them for the next couple of years," he added.

Kiplagat said they may bid for the 2019 World Youth Championships but on condition that the government will support them. " If we are to bid for the World Championship, we will need government support as we can't bid on our own. The world youth can be held anywhere and as a country, we have what it takes to host it," added Kiplagat.

World Youth team head coach Kariuki Gekonyo said the team did a stellar job against tough conditions. "Our athletes did the country proud and with only 18 athletes, we managed to finish second," added Gekonyo.

Kenya's four gold medalists included-Lilian Kasait (3000m SC), Roseline Chepng'etich (2000m SC), Robert Biwott (1,500m) and Alfred Kipketer (800m).

Daisy Chepkemei (2000), Vedic Kipkoech (3000m) and Nicholas Bett (2000mSC) won silver while Justus Lagat (2,000 SC), Alex Sampao (400m) , Alex Munyao (3000m SC) and Titus Kipruto (1,500m) took bronze.

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