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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Kenya eyes 2020 Tokyo Games after
superb show at Youth Olympics

By John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya hopes its young team will excel at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo 2020 after earning three golds and one silver at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The Kenyan team - nine hockey and 10 track and field athletes - placed 26th out of the 206 countries and regions that participated in the 3rd Youth Olympics.

Paul Tergat, president of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) said it was an improvement from four years ago in Nanjing, China where Kenya finished in 31st with four medals - two golds and two bronze medals.

Speaking in Nairobi, Tergat said Kenya needs early preparations and they will do all they can to ensure participation in all disciplines in their Olympic qualifying tournaments in 2019 to secure tickets for the 2020 Tokyo Games.

“Our young heroes have done us proud. We celebrate and appreciate their performances and selfless exploits in Buenos Aires at the Youth Olympics,” Tergat said.

Team captain Jackson Kavesa bagged gold in the boy’s 4km cross-country race, Edinah Jebitok stroked victory in 1,500m and Fancy Cherono added another in the 2,000m steeplechase and cross-country combined event.

It was the first time that cross-country was incorporated in the competition schedule with its last appearance back to 1924 at the summer Games in Paris. It was competed with a new and innovative format in Buenos Aires.

Kenya participated in only two sports at the Youth Games - athletics and hockey, and Tergat believe there will be an improved representation at the Tokyo Games in 2020.

“These corps of athletes are the ones who will take over the baton in the future and represent Kenya in major competitions. It is important that they gain the best foundation so as to be able to compete at the high level,” he added.

In Buenos Aires, Tergat was also appointed by the International Olympic Committee as a member of the coordination commission for the 2022 Youth Olympic Games, which will be held for the first time in Africa in Senegal.

           

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