Youth aim high for World U-18 Championship

Thursday May 11 2017

Joy Cherotich of Kuresoi Athletics Training Camp  clears a hurdle during training at Kerenget Secondary School  on April 27, 2017. PHOTO | COURTESY |

Joy Cherotich of Kuresoi Athletics Training Camp clears a hurdle during training at Kerenget Secondary School on April 27, 2017. PHOTO | COURTESY |  

By AYUMBA AYODI
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Kenyan youth will be out to emulate their track counterparts by writing history in field and technical events at the World Under-18 Championships set for July 12-16 in Nairobi.

The budding athletes from Keringet Training Camp in Nakuru, and Lemotit Athletics Camp in Kericho are determined to make it to the championships despite the challenges they faced during World Under-18 Championship camps.

Keringet and Lemotit are some of the centres that hosted probable athletes for training ahead of the World Under-18 competitions. Similar camps were held in April, August and December last year.

The large turnout witnessed in field events during the camps was a clear manifestation of Kenya’s potential of producing world-class athletes like World champions Julius Yego (javelin) and Nicholas Bett (400m hurdles) or legendry Elizabeth Olaba (shot put).

From the over 123 young athletes who turned out at the Keringet camp, 30 of them are potential medal hopefuls.

Among them are regional secondary schools champion Nicholas Cheruiyot (javelin) and regional primary school champion Joy Cherotich (long Jump). Cherotich is also the national primary school championships 400m hurdles silver medallist.

Also in the mix is Vincent Koech who won bronze for Kenya in javelin at regional secondary schools games.

Keringet has produced some of Kenya’s top athletes, among them Olympic 1,500m champion Faith Chepng’etich, Olympic 10,000m silver medallist Paul Tanui, 2016 Diamond League 800m series winner Ferguson Rotich and Boston Marathon champion Geoffrey Kirui.

This week, Athletics Kenya Nakuru County chairman Kimutai Ngetich said budding athletes from Kericho, Bomet, Baringo, Narok, Laikipa and Nandi turned up  for javelin, shot put, discus and all the jumps, including pole vault.

“The results could have been better if we had equipment, especially in pole vault. Neighbouring camps might have had good equipment but we have been using old ones,” said Ng’etich.

He thanked the government, Keringet Estate Day and Keringet Boarding primary schools for helping out with the camps.

Cheruiyot, who has thrown up to 70 metres, is ready to take the youth event by storm while Cherotich, a Standard Eight pupil at Keringet Boarding School, hopes to  combine both 400m hurdles and long jump well.

There was a turnout of 47 athletes at Lemotit, 35 of them medal hopefuls.