Kenya will be represented by 25 athletes and six officials at the IAAF World Youth Championships, Cali 2015 in Colombia from July 15-19 this year.
According to Athletics Kenya, the 31-member team to the World Youth Championship started its strategising schemes in Nairobi last week in an effort to surpass the country’s previous performance in Donestk, Ukraine in 2013.
Team Kenya checked in at Milele Conference Centre in Nairobi’s South where they would be staying as they domesticate the final-tuning before leaving the country for Cali, Colombia on July 10.
Head coach Robert Ng’isirei and his assistant Sammy Bii are quite optimistic the team will have enough time for fine-tuning with emphasis being to inculcate team spirit and exploring strategies to win medals in all events.
“The team is by far the best ever. We have medallists who posted remarkable results in both Africa Junior championships and Africa Youth in Ethiopia and Mauritius. It is an experienced team to relay on,” said Ng’isirei, who has been with the youth and juniors for a long time.
The squad, comprising 15 boys and 10 girls aged 16 and 17 years, was selected after a two-day national trial held at Nyayo National Stadium and after thorough scrutiny to ascertain age of individual athlete.
Africa Youth 3,000 metres queen Emily Chebet sent bright signal of carrying her winning streak to the global bi-annual championship after reigning supreme in the specialty and would be leading event mate Sheila Chelangat for medal hunt for the country.
“It feels great to be in the team after a very competitive trial. It will be nice to repeat my Africa Youth Championships achievement on the world stage with a first podium position,” said Chebet, the Africa Junior silver medalist after winning the selection.
Experienced Richard Kimuyang Yator and Davis Kiplagat are the flag bearers in the same event for the boys while Sandrafelis Chebet (Emily’s twin sister), Celphine Chepteek Chepsol, Vincent Rutto and Geoffrey Rotich are the hunters in 2,000 metres steeplechase.
The quartet of Janeth Jepng’etich, Joyline Cherotich, Kumari Taki and Lawi Kosgei would be gunning for the podium victories in 1,500 metres for both girls and boys.
Betty Chepkemoi, Mary Kalakye, Willy Tarbei and Kipyego Bett will stretch their fast legs in the 800 metres.
Kenya will also try to wrestle medals from the United States of America and Jamaica in the sprints where Purity Chepkoech and Jane Theuri will parade in girls’ 400 metres with Edwin Ngeeti and Josphat Ng’eno filling the boy’s lines.
Aaron Kimutai and Mackson Sirere will compete in the boys 200m.
Edward Kiplimo will be the solo field representative. He will take part in boys long jump after leaping 7.33 metres surpassing the mandatory 7.25 metres set for qualifiers.
In 400m hurdles, Emmanuel Kipyego and Nicholas Chirchir have the honour to unfurl the Kenyan flag.
In Donetsk in 2013, Kenya collected a total of 11 medals- 4 Gold, 3 Silver and 4 Bronze and finished second overall behind Jamaica who took the title.
Team Kenya for Cali 2015
200m: Aaron Kimutai and Mackson Sirere
400m: Edwin Ngeeti and Josphat Kipngetich Ng'eno
800m: Kipyegon Bett and Willy Tarbei
1500m:Lawi Koskei and Kumari Taki
3000m:Davies Kiplagat and Richard Kumunyan Yator
2000m steeplechase: Vincent Kipyegon Ruto and Geoffrey Rotich
400m hurdles: Emmanuel Kipyego and Nicholas Chirchir
Long jump: Edward Kiplimo
400m: Purity Joy Chepkoech and Jane Njoki Theuri
800m: Betty Chepkemoi and Mary Kalakye
1500m: Joyline Cherotich and Janeth Jepng'etich
3000m: Emily Chebet and Sheila Chelangat
2000m steeplechase: Sandrafekis Chebet and Celphine Chepteek Chepsol
Edward Mutahi Kahiga (Team Manager)
Homer Mugalitsi (Assistant Team Manager)
Robert Ng’isirei (Head Coach)
Sammy Bii (Assistant Coach)
Dorcas Yator (Chaperone)
Joyce Awawandu (Physio)