Team Kenya is ready to conquer the continent despite several disciplines being left out ahead of Sunday's departure for the third Africa Youth Games in Algiers, Algeria.
The team's Chef de Mission Humphrey Kayange said he hopes for a credible show from the youngsters even though the disciplines have been reduced from 18 to five owing to financial constraints.
Kenya will be represented in athletics, beach volleyball, lawn tennis, swimming and hockey in the Africa Youth Games due July 18-28 in Algiers.
“It’s disappointing to take only five disciplines these being youth games. We would have loved more youth in such competitions since they are the future but there is little we can do with resources,” said Kayange at the team’s residential training in Kasarani.
Kayange said the selection of the teams was pegged on several factors, with athletics, hockey and beach volleyball teams using the games in Algiers as qualifiers for Youth Olympics due October 6-18 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
“The team has been fairing on well since they entered camp last Saturday,” said Kayange. “The mood in camp has been excellent and excitement is everywhere with most people looking forward to represent the country for the first time.”
Kayange noted that the teams' standards are excellent since most are school children, who have competed in secondary school games.
“It has really helped to uphold their form and coaches who have been working with them have put them through the right training,” said Kayange.
One of the youngsters in the team, Ita Nao, is going for glory having finished ninth in boys' javelin during the 2017 World Under-18 Championships.
“I have now matured, having been training with the likes of my role model Julius Yego, who has inspired and encouraged me in every aspect since the World Under-18,” said Nao. “I have the equipment I need and that has also improved my throwing techniques.” Yego is the 2014 Commonwealth and 2015 World javelin champion.
“I am ready to go and my focus is on nothing short of victory,” said Nao.