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AK CONCERNED

World Athletics told reconsider age limit for under-20 show

Govt hailed for cushioning athletes

In Summary

•“The athletes who will be 20 years when the event is held should be considered as It is not their fault that the event was not held according to the calendar,” — Angwenyi. 

• Korir admitted that some athletes who have been training for the event will be locked out due to age.


Athletes at Mogonga PAG training camp when AK officials visited on Monday
Athletes at Mogonga PAG training camp when AK officials visited on Monday
Image: ANGWENYI GICHANA

Athletics Kenya (AK) Nyanza South chairman, Peter Angwenyi wants athletes who were eligible for the World Under-20 Championships this year allowed to take part next year even they are a year older. 

Angwenyi said some athletes training for the event, which was due next month but was postponed indefinitely due to Covid-19, will be ineligible to participate in the bi-annual event when the event is held next year.

“The athletes who will be 20 years when the event is held should be considered as it is not their fault that the event was not held according to the calendar,” he quipped. 

Angwenyi  said this while addressing junior athletes at Getacho Primary School, where athletes from Mogonga PAG Training Camp were training before the coronavirus pandemic ravaged the globe. The athletes are now training individually or in groups of two at their respective homes.

During the occasion, athletes received foodstuff and Sh3, 000 courtesy of Ministry of Sports and AK. Korir admitted that some athletes who have been training for the event will be locked out due to age factor. He, however, revealed that AK had made a request to World Athletics to allow the athletes to compete  if the event is held next year.

“Fifa and IOC have agreed to raise age limit for players who will participate in next year’s Olympics. We hope World Athletics will listen to us,” said Korir.

The event was supposed to be held between July 7 and 12 in Nairobi, Kenya but was postponed indefinitely due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Korir hailed Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed for cushioning the athletes during this difficult time.

“I have been to Makueni, Machakos, Nyeri, Nyandarua, Bomet, Narok, West Pokot, Elgeyo Marakwet, Kericho, Kisumu, Nandi and now Kisii and the situation is dire. I want to laud CS Amina for releasing the money to support the athletes,” said  Korir, adding: “ The purpose of these visits is to encourage athletes across the country that all is not lost. ”

Youth Olympics bronze medallist, Pesi Lesho,  who has been training at Mogonga camp said: “This food and stipend has come in handy. We were suffering but now we are happy. We want the government and AK  continue with the support to enable us train.”

He admitted he has challenges training on his own. Africa Under-18 400m silver medallist, Brian Tinega also lauded the ministry and AK for the support. At St Peter’s Keberesi Youth Camp, coach Charles Onwonga  said his biggest challenge has been co-ordinate training for the athletes. 

“At the moment, those from Kisii are not here. I sent them programs through phone or I use ·to monitor their training. It’s not easy for the students to train on their own but we want them to maintain fitness, ” said the former soldier.

He added: “Most of the athletes are in good shape because I closely monitor them. They were almost losing hope but since they have received food and some stipend, I am sure this will inspire them.”

Others present during the event were AK public relations officer Evans Bosire and committee member Elizabeth Kitany.