Kenyan athletes from the just concluded World Youth Championships in Colombia will not be allowed to compete in the national trials for the World Championships set for July 31 to August 31 in Nairobi.
Some of the athletes who arrived with the team from Colombia on Thursday evening were optimistic of taking part in the trials ahead of the World Championships planned for August 22 to 30 in Beijing.
Among them are gold medallists Kumari Taki (1,500m) and Willy Tarbei (800m). Kenya finished second behind USA at the World Youth Championships with 13 medals; five gold, four silver and four bronze.
However, Athletics Kenya’s head of youth and development, Barnabas Korir, has said they want the youth to save their energies for the forthcoming Commonwealth Youth Games planned for September 5 to 11 in Apia, Samoa.
Taki blasted to a championship record time of 3:36.38 when she won the 1,500m while Tarbei won the two-lap race title in 1:45.58, beating Africa champion Kipyegon Bett to silver in 1:45.86. Bett won the Africa Youth title in1:51.67 in April in Mauritius. The results in Cali were a replica of the Kenyan trials where Tarbei won in 1:44.51, beating Bett 1:44.55. The times qualified as some of the fastest in Kenya to qualify them, for the trials.
Already, World and Africa 2,000m steeplechase champion Vincent Kipyegon said he will focus on the Commonwealth Youth Games and next year’s world Junior Championships.
“If our athletes really want to have longevity in running, our development programmes must be structured,” said Korir adding that after the World Youth, they would like the youth compete at the CYG before turning the focus on the World Junior Championships next year.
“It’s after the World Junior that they can now ruin in senior championships comfortable. Not that we want to deny them a chance but it’s good for their health and profession.
“They performed so well in Cali hence the climate change is bound to affect them since they have just arrived in the country and the trials are just here,” explained Korir. “Most of them are in the CYG and we don’t want to jeopardise our chances.”