Athletics Athletics

Champs to lead Kenyan World Juniors charge

NAIROBI, Kenya, June 9- World Youth champions, William Malel, Conseslus Kipruto and Faith Chepng’etich will lead the Kenyan charge at the forthcoming IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona, Spain.

The trio were confirmed in a 25-strong squad selected by Athletics Kenya (AK) after the conclusion of the two-day Trials at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium on Saturday.

Chepng’etich, who also holds the World and Africa Cross Country junior titles, will double in her 1500m race as well as the 3000m event during the July 10 to 15 biennial junior athletics showpiece in Spain.

Consequently, the team will converge for residential training next Friday ahead of their July 5 departure for Barcelona where Kenya will be seeking to defend the overall title the country won at the last edition in Moncton, Canada where the country bagged seven gold, four silver and four bronze medals.

Japan based Malel, who added the Commonwealth Youth 3000m title to his Lille crown last September in the Isle of Man emerged as the headliner of the two-day selection event after clinching the double with victory in the men 5000m race.

Once again, Malel who won the 10000m race on Friday in 28:29.3 was pushed all the way to the finish on this occasion by Justin Kiprop in the 12 and a half-lap race before finding the killer touch in the last 50m for a 13:38.33 victory.

Kiprop, who will join him in Barcelona, clinched second in 13:38.87 but the federation declined to grant Malel his wish to contest the long distance double in Barcelona.

“The federation has not given me the reason yet but I will work hard to ensure I get the victory in Spain and bring pride to my nation,” the Toyota Kyushu corporate team runner stated.

Chepng’etich on her part edged out the only surviving member from Moncton 2010, in the Barcelona team, Nancy Chepkemoi, the bronze medallist, in the women 1500m final, clocking 4:09.1 against 4:11.2 as the champion deployed her finishing kick to devastating effect.

In the men’s steeple, the finishing order from Lille and Isle of Man was replicated when Kipruto (8:21.3) led the silver medallist in both events, Gilbert Kirui (8:23.4) across the line in the final.

AK granted wild card entry to Commonwealth Youth champion and World Youth silver medallist, Timothy Kitum in the 800m race as well as Geoffrey Kipkorir, who finished fifth amongst the seniors during the Kenyan London Olympics 10000m Trial at the Pre Fontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon a week ago.

Kariuki Gekonyo and Robert Ngisirei who have coached the junior team to the last four world events will continue in their role.

BARCELONA WORLD JUNIOR SQUAD

MEN: Mike Mokamba (100m/200m), Duncan Nkaru (200m), Alphas Kishoyian, Boniface Mweresa (400m), William Mbevi, Francis Mutunga (400m Hurdles), Edwin Kiplagat, Timothy Kitum (800m), Dominic Mutuku, Hillary Cheruiyot (1500m), Conseslus Kipruto, Gilbert Kirui (3000m steeplechase), William Malel, Justin Kiprop (5000m), Philemon Cheboi, Geoffrey Kipkorir Kirui (10000m)

WOMEN: Agatha Jeruto (800m), Faith Chepng’etich (1500m/3000m), Nancy Chepkwemoi (1500m), Mercy Chebwogen (3000m), Daisy Chepkemei, Stella Ruto (3000m steeplechase), Caroline Chepkoech, Agnes Chebet (5000m)

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