•Sprinters who qualify from this weekend's World Under-20 Championship trials will undergo specialised training in Nairobi
•Sub-committee on youth will evaluate the running times of each individual athlete to assess their potential
•Preparations for the Under-20 trials are in high gear
Athletics Kenya have arranged a specialised training camp in Nairobi for young sprinters who will qualify from this weekend's World U-20 trials at Nyayo Stadium, Nairobi.
Barnabas Kitilit, AK youth sub-committee chairman, said the camp is necessary to improve on the country's performance in the sprints.
"We have realised that most of the camps countrywide lack the technical know-how neither do they have the facilities for training sprinters. This is an area in which we have very talented athletes," Kitilit said.
For the other race categories, Kitilit said that the sub-committee will evaluate the times run by each athlete to formulate a proper training programme to sharpen their performance ahead of the World Under-20 Championships in Nairobi in August next year.
"We will look at each individual athlete and their respective times to judge their potential. Afterwards, we will liaise with the Ministry of Sports for additional funding to establish a specialised training to ensure that we improve the athletes' times to a level that can enable us win as many gold medals as possible," he said.
Kitilit was non-committal on the number of athletes that will eventually form part of Team Kenya.
However, he said that AK plans to enter a competitor in every discipline that will be up for grabs at the biennial championship.
"As the host nation, we have been allowed to field an athlete for every event that will be earmarked for that day. We do not usually do well in 100m and 200m but we will still field at least one athlete even if we do not attain the qualifying time," Kitilit said.
He bemoaned Team Kenya's fourth place finish at the 2017 World Under-18 Championships that the country hosted, noting that the coaches were determined to improve the performance at next year's showpiece.
"We are working hard to ensure that we take top position or at least number two. We are worried about our fourth place finish at the 2017 event because we have never been in that position before," Kitilit said.
Meanwhile, preparations for the trials — which begin on Friday through to Saturday — are in high gear.
The sub-committee will meet with the Ministry of Sports to set modalities on Covid-19 protocols to be observed during the trials. Participants will also undergo Covid-19 tests.
The World U-20 championship was initially planned for July this year but was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.