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AK seeks government's help in Under-20 preps

The federation had planned a residential training camp this month for the junior athletes after the final leg of the AK track and field weekend meetings at Moi Stadium, Kasarani on April 2-3.

In Summary

•Korir revealed that the federation has already registered their concerns with the government and are awaiting a response from the Ministry of Sports.

•"We were lucky to hold a very successful pre-trial event last year where we identified 80 athletes. We will stick with them and when we get an opening, we plan to lower the number to 36," Korir said. 

Athletes compete in Girls 5,000m race during the World U20 pre-Trials at Nyayo Stadium
Athletes compete in Girls 5,000m race during the World U20 pre-Trials at Nyayo Stadium
Image: /ERICK BARASA

Athletics Kenya has called on the government to help in preparing about 80 athletes ahead of the World Athletics Under-20 Championships set for August 17-22 at Moi Stadium, Kasarani. 

AK's director of youth development Barnaba Korir said time is running out on the country to prepare a formidable team for the global showpiece.

Korir revealed that the federation has already registered their concerns with the government and are awaiting a response from the Ministry of Sports.

"Athletics Kenya president Jackson Tuwei is following this up with the government," said Korir.

"We are seeking to partner with them (Ministry of Sports) to assist the athletes as they continue with their individual training even with the suspension of sporting activities in the country. If we get cash we can buy them food or any other kind of support they may need at this tough period."

Korir said AK will continue monitoring the young athletes in their individual training bases to ascertain their readiness and ensure they are following the laid-down Covid-19 protocols. 

"We have come up with a plan to continually identify these athletes and follow up on them. We will have some members of our committee visit these athletes at their training bases," he revealed.

"As AK, we have followed the Ministry of Sports' regulations on resumption of sports to the letter and this has enabled training to continue uninterrupted without any cases of infections among our athletes." 

Almost four months to the biennial global event, Korir said AK will pull out all stops to produce the best team, properly equipped to do duty against the rest of the world.

"We were lucky to hold a very successful pre-trial event last year where we identified 80 athletes. We will stick with them and when we get an opening, we plan to lower the number to 36," Korir said. 

The federation had planned a residential training camp this month for the junior athletes after the final leg of the AK track and field weekend meetings at Moi Stadium, Kasarani on April 2-3. 

The event was to double up as pre-trials before the trials to select the final team in another two months. However, the government's new measures to deal with the third wave of the coronavirus halted these plans. 

Meanwhile, Korir has urged athletes not to lose hope despite the turn of events. Instead, he said, they continue training relentlessly with an eye on upcoming international competitions.