Kenyan junior internationals have intensified their preparations ahead of the World U20 trials set for Moi Stadium, Kasarani on June 11 and 12.
World U18 1,500m gold medalist George Manangoi remains confident of making Team Kenya for the youth championships to be held in Tampere, Finland from July 19-24 following a 3:41.75 performance at the Rome Diamond League last Thursday.
Manang’oi’s coach Bernard Ouma revealed that the youngster suffered a slight knock in Rome but should be up and running in a week.
“He suffered a slight knock on the knee during the Diamond League in Rome but it’s being fixed. I am confident that he will make to the Kenyan team. He was supposed to run in Turk, Finland on June 7 but it’s not possible because Athletics Kenya changed the dates for the trials,” said Ouma.
In Rome, Manangoi finished 14th in a race won by his training mate, Timothy Cheruiyot, in 3:31.22 while George’s brother Elijah came second in 3:33.79.
World junior race walking bronze medalist Dominic Ndigiti said he is ready for the trials and is confident of making the team to Finland.
“My preparations have been very smooth. I have won three AK weekend meets in Mumias, Mombasa and Kisii against senior runners. The bronze medal I won in Nairobi inspired me to continue working hard,” said Ndigiti, student at Kiendege Secondary in Nyamira.
Mary Moraa, who won a silver medal in 400m during the world U18 championships in Nairobi last year is also upbeat on her chances of bagging a ticket to Finland.
The national secondary schools 200m and 400m champion said: “We have been training for the trials and I want to board a plane to Finland. It will be a nice experience for me.”
Moraa is a student at Mogonga Secondary, whose coach, Haron Onchong’a, revealed that they will send at least 15 athletes to the trials.
“My athletes have not participated in many events since we finished the national secondary school games in Embu. We decided to focus on training for the world U20 trials,” said Onchong’a.
Africa Cross Country junior champion Rhonex Kipruto and silver medalist Stanley Waithaka, alongside Commonwealth 5000m bronze medalist Edward Zakayo are expected to renew rivalry during the two day trials.