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Kenya targets medal sweep at Tampere 2018 World U-20 Championships

Kenyan national junior team head coach Robert Ngisirei said they aim to reclaim the overall title at this year’s IAAF World U-20 Championships in Tampere, Finland from 10-15 July.

Kenya's Toroitich at the IAAF World U18 Championships in Nairobi 2017 / Photo credit: IAAF
Kenya's Toroitich at the IAAF World U18 Championships in Nairobi 2017 / Photo credit: IAAF

Kenyan national junior team head coach Robert Ngisirei has said they aim to reclaim the overall title at this year’s IAAF World U-20 Championships in Tampere, Finland from 10-15 July.

Ngisirei told journalists in Kenya on Thursday after the team cleared a three week training camp, that his charges are capable of carrying the burden on their shoulders.

“It is up to this team to go out and prove they have what it takes to conquer the world. We have cleared our training and now what remain is for the athletes to enjoy their performances at the global level. It is another chance to prove to the world, they are ready to take over from their seniors,” said Ngisirei.

Kenya has topped the medal standing on three occasions in the history of the championships.

They were the best team at the 2000 games in Santiago, Chile, a feat they repeated in 2006 in Beijing and in 2010 in the Moncton, Canada.

Ngisirei is certain that the 27-member team has the ability to chalk up their fourth overall title in Finland.

“I will not delve into the issue of ranking too much. These athletes have shown it all at the youth level and now as juniors. Their legs will do the talking in Finland.

Kenya has always had strong teams to the junior championships, but this team is special and they can beat any athlete out there,” he added.

World youth 1,500m champion George Manangoi says he is also focused ahead of the championships.

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“I am focused on winning my race in Finland. That way, I will be able to dedicate the medal to my late sister. I believe in my own strength, though the caliber of competition keeps improving by the day,” he said.

Only Kenya and USA have emerged atop in the medal standings in the last two decades of the competition.

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