NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya must guard their young budding athletes
with zeal and cushion them away from the doping agents if the
country is to have a strong representation at the Tokyo Olympic
Games in 2020.
That’s the view of
Athletics Kenya official Barnaba Korir, who is in charge of the
youth development. He says the country’s production line has
proved to have the best crop of runners, and they must be guided
and encouraged to win clean and move to the next level, which is
the Youth Olympics and World Junior Championships.
“Our focus now is on
the national Under-20 trials, which will be held on Monday and
Tuesday in Nairobi. I am looking forward to seeing the very
youths, who made us proud during the World Under-18 show in
2017, spin it once more for the whole world to see and feel
Kenya’s athletics prowess,” Korir said in Nairobi on Thursday.
The World Junior
Championships (Under-20) will be held in Tampere, Finland from
July 10-15, while the Youth Olympics will be staged in Buenos
Aires, Argentina in October.
“The young runners
have an opportunity to build a generation as they look forward
to 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo,” Korir added.
Kenya will be
selecting their best 30 athletes for the World Under-20 on
Tuesday and hope to recapture the overall title, which they lost
to the USA in the last championships two years ago.
Two years ago in
Bydgoszcz, Poland, Kenya finished second with nine medals (5
gold, two silver and two bronze) behind the United States, who
collected 11 gold, 6 silver, and 4 bronze medals.
“I want to see the
World Under-18 Championships gold medalists George Manangoi
(1,500m), Leonard Bett (steeplechase), Jackline Wambui (800m)
and Karen Chebet (steeplechase) lead from the front. Look out
for Mary Moraa (400m), Dominic Ndigiti (10,000m), Japhet Kibet
(800m) and Edna Jebitok (1,500m) pick from where they left as
they seek to make Kenya great again,” said Korir.
To reach the final
round qualifiers, Zambia beat Tanzania in the previous round
while Zimbabwe overcame Namibia.
The coach of the
Zambia women team announced his final 20-member squad for the
encounter on Monday, and promised that his players were ready