14 June 2017

Kenya: Exciting Kenyan Youth Book Tickets to World Event

World Under-20 5,000m silver medallist Emmaculate Chepkurui, National 1,500m silver medallist Dominic Soget and fast-rising 400m hurdler Irene Akinyi reigned in their respective races at Nyayo Stadium on Wednesday to earn a place in Kenya's World Under-18 Championships team.

Also making it to the world youth competition that is planned for July 12-16 at Kasarani are primary school pupil Edina Jebitok. She led from gun-to-tap in a classy show in girls' 1,500m.

Boys' 200m winner Nairobi's Philemon Konari and Southern's Kelvin Sawe, who claimed victory in boys' 400m, exhibited raw talent to ease into Team Kenya.

Riruta Central's Jackline Wambui was untouchable in girls' 800m to snatch her ticket to the Nairobi event alongside the boys' race winner Noah Kiprono from South Rift.

North Rift's Edward Zakayo, who was wearing running spikes for the second time in his life, brushed aside all odds to win boys' 3,000m.

Also making the team was South Rift's Chepkirui who dominantly won the girls' 3,000m final in 9 minutes and 05.7 seconds, beating Beatrice Chebet from Central Rift by two seconds.

Irene Akinyi and Leah Cheruto (centre) compete in the girls' 400m hurdles during the trials. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |NATION MEDIA GROUP

"It feels great to make it to the team. I know I will be the favourite and this puts me under pressure. I will handle that," said Chepkirui, who won silver in 5,000m at the World Under-20 Championships in Poland last year before finishing ninth in Under-20 at the World Cross Country Championships in March in Uganda.

Zakayo, who hails from Loita, Narok and is a Form One student at Kapsait in Marakwet clocked 7:53.77 to win 3,000m boys' race.

"I think this is so far the happiest day of my life," said Zakayo, who hopes that his victory will catapult him to stardom not only in education but athletics.

"I really want to get a manager and be able to earn some money to pay my school fees and lift up my poor family. My journey has just started and I thank God for this far."

Soget, son of former junior international Christopher Soget, who finished second during the nationals, beating his idol World 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop to third, won his 1,500m race in 3:44.0, beating George Manangoi to second in 3:44.4.

George, a brother to World 1,500m silver medallist Elijah Manangoi, also made it to the worlds.

"I took a shot at the World Under-20 last year but couldn't make it after I was spiked at the trials to finish sixth. I am glad to make it this time around," said Soget, a form four student at Kiroben Boys, Nakuru.

Akinyi, a form four student Peters Keberesi, Kisii was just out of this world following her victory in girls 400m hurdles in 61.73, beating Leah Jeruto from North Rift to also qualify in 61.87.

"Nothing could take me away from the hurdles especially when I came across coach Charles Onwonga, who has shaped me to this victory," said Akinyi, a former primary schools 400m hurdles and 110m hurdles champion.

Jebitok, a class seven pupil at Keringet Estate Primary School, Nakuru, clocked 4:16.9 to win her 1,500m race, edging out Rachel Nzangi, who timed 4:17 to also qualify.

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