NAIROBI, Kenya, April 1 – Africa Junior women 3000m bronze medallist, Sandrafelis Chebet will lead the 23-strong Kenyan squad to the second CAA Africa Youth Championships that will run in Mauritius from April 22 to 26.
Athletics Kenya (AK) selected 14 boys and nine girls following the conclusion of two-day Trials at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium where Chebet underlined her credentials by out-foxing the competition in the girls’ 2000m steeplechase final.
Chebet stopped the clock in 6:26.0 ahead of Coast based Ann Gathoni by two seconds with the bridesmaid leading for the better part of the race before fading in the final two laps.
“The race was good although this is not my event. I was trying my luck after failing to make it in the 1500m where I finished third. In the last two laps, I realized that I still had energy and that’s when I pushed myself to the limit.
“This time round, I’m seeing gold coming on the way,” Chebet, 17, who hails from Kericho told Capital Sport.
South Rift’s Vincent Kiyegon won the corresponding boys’ water and barriers race after uncorking a gun to tape performance ahead of Nixon Kiplagat in 5:28.2.
“Youth competition is not easy as many people think, it’s the toughest event in Kenya because everybody wants to represent the country but I trained well for the race since I wanted to revenge my Africa junior’s performance where I finished fourth.
“I expect gold because I have experience. My role model is Paul Kipsiele Koech since we come from the same County and Ezekiel Kemboi, I want to be like them in future,” Kipyegon told.
Davis Kiplagat and Richard Yator will carry the country’s flag in the boys 3000m while Chebet’s twin sister, Emily will partner with Sheila Chelangat in the girls’ event.
Betty Chepkemoi is the sole girls’ 800m runner whilst Kipyegon Bett and Sila Kimeli will compete in the boys’ event.
Kenya will have only two in the field events with Vincent Kilel taking part in the Triple jump while Emmanuel Kipng’etich will participate in Javelin.
The team that will be led by coaches Paul Kipkemboi and Esther Kavaya; reports to camp Tuesday next week at Nairobi’s Milele Hotel before departing April 21.
AK vice president in charge of Youth, Lt. General (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei, called on girls’ to pull up their socks to enable equal selection in future.
“In the coming events, team selection as well as vetting and confirmation of agents should be done at regional level to enable the national office have the names in time and prepare for the start list early. I also instruct schools to start registering their athletes before entering in competitions for our database,” Tuwei declared.
Kenya will be looking to improve her 2013 performance at the inaugural edition in, Wari Nigeria where they finished fourth with five gold, four silver and two bronze.
100m – Arron Kimutai (boys), Damaris Akoth (girls)
200m – Markson Sirere (boys), Damaris Akoth (girls)
800m – Kipyegon Bett, Sila Kimeli (boys) Betty Chepkemoi (girls)
1500m – Brimin Kiprono, Kimaru Tarus (boys) Janeth Chepng’etich, SandraFelis Chebet (girls)
2000m s/chase – Vincent Kipyegon, Nixon Kiplagat (boys) Sandrafelis Chebet, Ann Gathoni (girls)
3000m – Davis Kiplagat, Richard Yator (boys) Emily Chebet, Sheila Chelangat (girls)
Javelin – Emmnuel Kipng’etich
Triple jump – Vincent Kilel.
Coaches – Paul Kipkemboi, Esther Kavayi
Team Manager – Paul Kiriako
Chaperone – Matinda Soi
Physiotherapist – Dr. Kevin Otieno.