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Saturday, July 31, 2021

Preparation for World U20 on despite ban on sports

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Athletics Kenya (AK) is stepping up preparations for Team Kenya ahead of the World Under-20 Championships slated for August in Nairobi.

Despite the government’s directive banning all sporting activities in the country due to surging cases of coronavirus, AK is keen to maintain the momentum of the junior athletes barely four months to the start of the global event.

The federation disclosed that they will keep tabs on the probable athletes who were selected during a pre-trial event held last year where some 80 athletes were identified to undergo further training.

While AK had earlier indicated that the athletes will be placed in various training camps across the country during the April holidays, the ban on sporting activities in the country as Kenya grapples with the third wave of the pandemic has forced AK to change plans.

The director of Youth Development at AK Barnaba Korir has revealed that the athletes will continue training individually as they wait for the government to ease the stringent measures imposed to curb the spread of the virus.

“We were planning to have them (junior athletes) 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.

Korir disclosed that they are looking to trim the number of the athletes to 36 and that they have already approached the Ministry of Sports with respect to offering support to the already identified athletes who have now been forced to train on their own.

“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.

“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,” he said.

The biannual championship was initially set for July last year before it was delayed by almost a year due to the pandemic.

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