• He said Kenyans will strive to assert their authority in the games with several youngsters expected to defend the titles they won in Nairobi last year.
•South Rift, North Rift and Central Rift will hold regional trials at Kericho, Kapsabet, and Ndura in Kitale respectively on Saturday while other regions Southern, Coastal, Eastern and Nairobi will do their selection on Saturday next week, added Ilovi.
Athletics Kenya Youth Sub Committee is confident Kenya can successfully defend the World Under 20 title in Cali, Colombia in August.
AK Youth Sub Committee Secretary Joseph Ilovi said AK will select a strong team for the games scheduled for August 1 to 6.
He said Kenyans will strive to assert their authority in the games with several youngsters expected to defend the titles they won in Nairobi last year.
Ilovi, who spoke ahead of regional under 20 trials this weekend, said: “From what we saw at the various camps, Kenya can easily defend the World Under 20 title for the third consecutive time. Even if countries like the United States field a team at the championships, we are confident of topping the medal standings for the third time in a row.”
South Rift, North Rift and Central Rift will hold their regional trials at Kericho, Kapsabet and Kitale respectively on Saturday. Southern, Coastal, Eastern and Nairobi will conduct their selection on Saturday next week, added Ilovi.
“I’m yet to get confirmations from Central, Nyanza South, Western, Nyanza North, and Nyanza South but I expect them to select their teams by June 18,” he told the Star on phone.
In April, AK organised 26 training camps across the country for junior athletes and Ilovi said that, unlike in the 2021 edition, Kenya are better prepared to face the world.
“We visited the camps where we were impressed by the quality of athletes we met. We expect fireworks at the trials,” he noted.
Athletics Kenya is eager to select a team of 27 athletes as far as they meet the World Athletics qualifying standards.
He, however, noted that they are thinking of moving the national trials to Nyayo Stadium from Moi Stadium, Kasarani due to financial constraints.
Ilovi further added that regions will meet the costs of ferrying athletes to Nairobi, accommodation and food.
“We have asked regions to bring the best athletes since they will be meeting all the costs,” he added.
Japan-based Benson Kiplangat (5,000m), Emmanuel Wanyonyi (800m), Jackline Chepkoech (3, 000m steeplechase), Purity Chepkirui (1, 500m) are among the athletes expected to defend their titles in Cali.
Ilovi also tipped the 11 junior athletes who benefitted from a month-long training camp for sprinters in Miramas, France to go for gold in Cali.
They include Sylvia Chelangat (400m), Mercy Chebet (200m/100m), Winny Chepng’etich (triple jump) and Judy Kemunto (400m), Peter Kithome (400m), Elkanah Kiprotich (400m), Meshack Baraka (400mh/110h), Jonathan Mutua (200m), Dominic Kipkorir (shot put), Alex Njeru (200m) and Reynold Kipkorir (800m).