NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 05 – Ahead of the World Under-20 Championships which will be held in Nairobi in from August 17, Athletics Kenya is looking to trim its wider training group of selected athletes from 80 to 36.
This is even as AK continues to engage the government through the Ministry of Sports in talks to probably have the athletes back training in a camp set up after the blanket ban on all sporting activities by President Uhuru Kenyatta as one of the new COVID-19 containment measures.
“We were lucky we managed to hold a very successful pre-trial event last year where we identified 80 athletes. We will stick to them and when we get an opening, we plan to lower the number to 36,” Athletics Kenya Director of Youth Development Barnaba Korir said on Monday.
In 2018, AK had set up 20 training camps across the country in preparation for the championships that were initially set for July last year before it was delayed by almost a year due to the pandemic.
The athletes’ camps were retained heading into the new year, but the recent containment measures have meant that all athletes will now have to train individually.
“We were planning to have them in camps like we did last year but because of the government’s restrictions and the subsequent ban of sporting activities, we have decided that they will keep training individually since the event is also drawing closer,” said Korir.
“The AK president is following it up with the government and we are waiting for his word. If we get cash, we can buy them food or any other support they need at this period we are ready to offer. We will also have some members of our committee visit these athletes at the training bases,” he added.
Meanwhile, with slightly more than 130 days left before the event is staged, AK continues to fastrack the preparations, especially in ensuring that Kenya will have a strong team.
AK president Lt Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei while addressing the press last month had underscored that the federation will leave nothing to chance in readiness for the event which will be held on African soil for the first time.
Kenya clinched the top spot at the 2018 championships in Tampere, Finland after bagging 11 medals that includes 6 gold, 4 silver and 1 bronze.