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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Budding young Kenyan talent ready to
conquer Youth Olympics, World Juniors

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 for battle.

             

 

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