NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya will overcome late withdrawal of swimming
sensation Maria Brunlehner and stage a good performance at the
Youth Olympic Games, which start in Buenos Aires, Argentina on
Committee of Kenya (NOCK) President Paul Tergat says the country
will weather the stiff challenge in the competition to improve
on their past performance in Nanjing, China in 2014 where it won
two gold, two silver and one bronze.
“It is sad that
Kenya’s sole representative in swimming at the Youth Olympics
Maria Brunlehner has withdrawn due to illness. We wish her quick
recovery,” said Tergat on Friday.
“But Kenya has a
fighting spirit and we will do well in the other two
disciplines,” he added. Kenya will only have 19 athletes
competing in track and field and boys’ hockey.
The Youth Olympics
is the elementary event for the International Olympic Committee
(IOC) for young boys and girls and it aims to instill sense of
responsibility and liking of sports to the youth still in school
before they choose which career to pursue.
“I’m certain the
competition will offer important experience to the young
sportsmen, who will soon be carrying the country’s flag at
senior Olympics starting with Tokyo in 2020,” said Tergat.
He singled out
athletes like Africa champion Ita Leshan (64.66m) who desires to
fit in the shoes of Olympic silver medalist Julius Yego in
“That desire is
being realized and Buenos Aires Youth Olympics will be the
second stage in his road to become heir apparent to Yego. It is
steadily happening,” said Tergat.
federation President Patrick Muyah regretted the withdrawal of
Brunlehner. Muyah confirmed that Brunlehner presented a
withdrawal letter to IOC citing illness as the reason behind her
withdrawal. Brunlehner struck two gold medals and a silver at
the Africa Youth Games in July in Algeria.
She splashed to
victory in 58.87 seconds in the 100m freestyle and broke the
championship record with new times of 26.14 in 50m freestyle.
Kenya’s hopes of
clinching medals will be determined by the performance of the
athletics and hockey teams that are representing Kenya in these