Athletics Kenya on Monday pushed vetting of athletes to Tuesday to avoid cheating as the country prepares to select a team for next month’s World Under-18 Championships.
AK official in charge of Youth Committee, Barnaba Korir, on Monday said late arrival of some teams also necessitated the postponement of the vetting exercise.
Korir said athletes will now be vetted as they take to the blocks in the two-day trials that start Tuesday at Nyayo National Stadium, Nairobi.
“We have had previous incidents where athletes who get vetted a day before the trials are secretly replaced with stronger ones for the trials,” Korir noted. “The cheats then end up competing with different names.”
Korir singled out a case last year when officials were forced to replace an athlete who had cheated in men’s 1,500m for the World Under-20 Championships in Poland.
“We have enough time to do the vetting and the trials. We must present a credible team,” said Korir.
The trials for the World Under-18 Championships due July 12-16 at Kasarani will also double up as trials for the Africa Under-20 Championships planned for June 29 – July 2 in Tlemcen, Algeria.
Among the finals to be staged on Tuesday at the World Under-18 trials are boys’ shot put, high jump and 10,000m race walk and girls’ javelin.
Boys’ 10,000m final for Africa Under-20 will also go down Tuesday.
The events start with both boys and girls’ semi-finals in 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1,500m, 3,000m, 200m steeplechase and mixed relays in Under-18.
Boys’ and girls’ 3,000m steeplechase and 3,000 semi-finals for Africa Under-20 event will also be held on Tuesday.
World Under-20 5,000m bronze medallist Wesley Ledama will highlight boys’ 3,000m semi-finals, while World Under-5,000m silver medallist Immaculate Chepkirui is the girl to watch in 3,000m event.
Edwin Kosgei who claimed boys’ 3,000m title at the regional Under-18 event and finished eighth in Under-20 at the World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, will take on Ledama in 3,000m.
John Mwaniki and Anne Mwongeli, who won regional Under-18 1,500m gold medals are the ones to beat in their respective events.
Betty Chepkemoi, who won girls’ 800m at the regional Under-18, will seek the 2,000m steeplechase ticket to the World Under-18 contest. Close to 450 athletes will compete in the trials that are featuring 20 events in the Under-18 category.