Kenya picks 26 runners for youth athletics worlds

Nairobi, June 17 (IANS) There was no big surprise as Kenya on Wednesday picked a strong squad of 26 athletes for the World Youth Athletics Championships to be held in Cali, Colombia starting from July 15 to 19.

The country’s production line remains active as most top athletes at this elementary competition proved their mantle to claim their maiden or second ticket to compete at the global arena, reports Xinhua.

It’s a confirmation of no dearth in talent, especially in middle and long distance races, if the time set and level of competition at this age is anything to go by.

Kenya team will be led by Africa Youth champions Emily Chebet, Sandra Felis Chebet and Vicent Kipyegon.

Having already excelled at this year’s Africa Youth Championship in Mauritius, the trio led a team of 26 to Cali, where they will come up against other younger athletes from U.S., China, Jamaica, Russia, Canada and the host Colombia.

Having won at Africa Youth Championships, steeplechaser Chebet had no real challenge in Nairobi on Wednesday as she won her ticket to world youth event.

Chebet won the girl’s 2000m water and hurdle race clocking 6:16.19 minutes followed by Celephine Chespol who clocked 6:16.19 minutes.

In the corresponding boy’s 2,000m final, another Africa youth champion 2000m Vincent Kipyegon, timed 5:27.17 minutes ahead of Geoffrey Rotich (5:30.17 minutes)

Extra ordinary times were recorded in the boy’s 800m when Willy Tarbei clocked 1:44.51 minute followed by Kipyegon Bett 1:44.55 minute. The duo missed world lead time of 1.43.98 minute narrowly.

In the 1,500m, Africa youth bronze medallist Janeth Jepngetich (4:20.12 minutes) won the race despite a strong challenge from Joyline Cherotich (4:20.89 minutes).

Athletics Kenya acting president Jack Tuweii said Kenya’s chances to dominate in Colombia were high.



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