Kenya: Specialised Training for Junior Sprinters and Field Athletes

Kenya marked 100 days to go for the World Athletics Under-20 Championships with Athletics Kenya (AK) putting in place an elaborate plan that will see the country field a strong team in the event.

AK is casting its nets wide by planning for a camp for sprints and field events athletes in two weeks at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani im readiness for the World junior event due July 17 to 22 at the same venue.

AK director of youth and development Barnaba Korir said that they are in the process of finalising the list of the athletes for the specialised training.

And 2021 Nairobi World Athletics Under-20 Championships chief executive officer, Mike Rabar disclosed that Kenya is ready to host the event adding that the government will continue to support AK financially to ensure strong representation in the event.

Korir said they will be targeting those who have cleared school for the one month camp.

"That does not mean that we shall exclude those who are still in school but rather we shall second our technical teams to these schools to see how we shall have them train after classes," said Korir adding that they will also continue assisting athletes in the rest of the events in middle and long distance.

Korir said that even though they held national pre-trials November last year where they selected 80 athletes, selection is a continuous process.

"We still have more talent coming through and that is why we last year's event wasn't the final. We don't want to lock out any talent and that is why we want to support our regions to hold their pre-trials," said Korir noting that Southern Region held their pre-trials on Saturday drawing 160 athletes from Machakos, Makueni and Kitui.

Korir said they intend to field athletes in all the field events save for pole vault, heptathlon and decathlon.

AK had requested for Sh15 million from the government to help them train the Under-20 athletes at their respective camps and regions ahead of the world event.

"We have held talks with Rabar and government is ready to help us just like before," said Korir.

The government availed Sh 64million to help in Team Kenya preparations for the World Athletics Under-20 Championships that was to take place in July 2020 but later pushed it to this year because of Covid-19.

The preparations started back in 2019 with 20 camps being set up across the country. Despite the lockdown last year, the government and AK supported the athletes with money and food donations to help them prepare individually.

AK was forced to go back to the drawing board and prepare new athletes after more than half of the team surpassed the age limit following the postponement of the event.

"As much as we want to stage a successful event, we want our performance on track also to reflect," said Rabar adding that Kenya will be under pressure to perform after the country topped the medal standings during the previous edition in 2018 in Tampere, Finland.

Kenya collected 11 medals; six gold, four silver and a bronze from Tampere.

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