NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya is hopeful its lean team of 20 athletes
will weather the storm and help the country improve on its medal
haul at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Oct.
Olympic Committee (IOC) is looking at ways to limit number of
participants in its competition to save on organization cost and
this has impacted negatively to Kenya’s preparations, as they
enter the smallest contingent for the games.
During the 2014
Youth Games in Nanjing, China, Kenya entered a team of 24
athletes in three disciplines - athletics, weightlifting and
rugby Sevens. However, only 20 athletes will be representing the
country in Argentina in athletics, hockey and swimming. Four
years ago, Kenya claimed five medals - two gold, two silver and
one bronze medals all from athletics.
Kenya’s Chef de Mission, said the selection of the three
disciplines and 20 athletes was based on their performance at
the Africa Youth Games held in Algiers, Algeria in July.
“IOC has restricted
selection based on continental Games and that is why we have a
small quota based on the number of athletes we sent to Algeria.
Athletics wanted to have more runners in the team, but that will
not be possible,” said Kariuki Tuesday in Nairobi.
With no rugby,
volleyball and basketball making the cut, Kenya’s hopes will lie
on athletics for medals just like was the case in Nanjing, China
in 2014 where Gilbert Kwemoi Soet and Rosefline Chepngetich won
This time, Kenya
hopes will lie in five boys and five girls in athletics. But
Kenya’s medal scoop may widen beyond the track to field event
with Africa Youth Champion in javelin Martha Musai and boy’s
Africa silver medalist Ita Nao eyeing gold at Youth Olympic
Others in the
athletics team are Africa Youth Games steeplechase champion
Fancy Cherono, Dennis Mutuku Matheka, world youth champion in
1,500m Edinah Jebitok and Nickson Pariken. There is also Francis
Leshoo and Angela Ndungwa in 800m with Jackson Kavesa and Mercy
Chepkorir making the 3,000m team.
Brunlehner, who struck two gold medals and a silver at the
Africa Youth Games is Kenya’s sole representative in swimming.
Brunlehner will fly direct from her Germany base to Buenos
Aires. The boy’s hockey team will comprise nine players and two
“NOCK is the only
sponsor of the team. The government shot down our budget appeal
and now we have to see how best these young boys and girls can
shine at the biggest stage in sports competition,” said Kariuki.