NAIROBI, September 11 – World Junior and World Youth 3,000 metres champion Mercy Cherono will lead a star studded team in next month’s Commonwealth Youth Games in India.
Cherono is among 12 athletes selected by Athletics Kenya (AK) to represent the country at the third edition of the games which are scheduled for October 12-18 in the Indian city of Pune.
The 17 year old is undoubtedly the most experienced athlete in the team having won the World Youth crown in Ostrava in a personal best time of 8:53.94in 2007 and followed it up with another win at this year’s World Junior Championships in Poland.
In all, the team consists of four athletes who did duty for the country at the World Junior championships in Poland in July\ where Kenya finished third with four gold, five silvers and two bronze.
World junior 3,000 metres steeplechase champion Jonathan Muia who triumphed in Poland will compete in the 1500 metres race.
Stacy Ndiwa who finished last in the final in the women’s 1500 metres in Bydgoszcz after being boxed and jostled in the final lap will compete in her specialty. Ndiwa is the younger sister to Mangata Ndiwa who won the Junior World Cross Country title in 2006.
Grace Kimanzi who reached the semifinals in Poland will also be looking for improved fortunes in the two lap race. Poland was her first outing and the experience will have done her a world of good.
The athletes are expected to report to camp on 1st of October for training up to 7th of October in Kasarani. They will depart on 8th of October, 2008 to India and return on 20th October.
They are also required to submit their passport, two pictures and a yellow fever certificate to the National Olympic committee of Kenya by Monday next week to facilitate travel arrangements.
Vivian Chelangat (200&400m), Grace Kimanzi (800m), Stacy Ndiwa (1500m), Purity Cherotich(1500m), Mary Kiprop( 3000m), Mercy Cherono(3000m), David Mutinda (400m), Raphael Olekei (800m&1500m), Jonathan Muia(1500m), Japheth Korir(3000m), Anthony Chemut(400m), Kiprono Koech Paul (3000m).
Coach/Team manager-Paul Kimojino Tuikong – Team Manager/Coach
Chaperone – Mercy Njoki