NAIROBI, October 6 – Kenyan juniors will be taking part in this year’s Junior Commonwealth Games for the first time from October 12-18 in New Delhi, India.
Commonwealth Youth team assistant athletics Coach Mercy Mbuko is confident that the team will aim high in the hunt for medals at the games as their morale ahead of the trip was good.
“These boys and girls are determined to perform as they are training very well with no injuries occurring. When they go out there I am sure they will win at least six medals, to come home with victory,” she said.
World junior and world youth champion Mercy Cherono is looking forward to the games where she will participate in the 3,000 metres flat race.
She will lead the rest of the junior athletes in the championship alongside Stacy Ndiwa in the slated 1,500 metres race.
Cherono, who won two gold medals, one in the Australia World Junior Championships and the other in the Poland World Youth Championships in the 3,000 metres race respectively, is ready for the tough challenge.
“We must be well focussed and train hard for the event because we expect stiff competition from other countries, which will not be a pushover,” Cherono offered.
The promising Ndiwa, who also participated in the Poland World Junior Championships, will show her supremacy in the games after improving in a series of training sessions ahead of the youth championships.
Others expected to lead the team is athletics captain, David Mutiudi, who will be in the 400 and 800 metres track races alongside Raphael Oleilel in the 800 and 1,500 metre races.
Also in the ranks is Anthony Chemut ready to compete in the 400 metres track event, while Vivian Chengat takes the 200 and 400 metre girls’ races as Purity Cherotich runs in the 800 and 1,500 metre competitions.
Apart from athletics, Kenya will be represented in boxing, swimming, table-tennis, wresting, badminton and lawn tennis.
Musa Benjamin, the boxing head coach said his team is ready to go for the challenge from India, England and Australia, which will be part of international exposure and experience after going through speed techniques and endurance in the ring.
Eddy Charles from Thika Boxing Club will feature in the light flyweight, Mohammed Malicha from St Teresa will play in light flyweight ,Dennis Odhiambo from Mombasa Trans Fix Boxing Club, participates in welterweight while Kingston Otieno from Dallas will play in Bantam weight.
Shelly Maina, the ladies junior swimming coach said that the team will excel in the games as they are working on speed for them to effectively compete at the international level.
“They are aiming to position themselves before the 2012 London Olympics,” she said.