• Injuries and age cheating claims force AK to make changes.
• World Under-20 and Africa 5, 000m champion Edward Zakayo and Francis Leshoo have been named in the team on standby.
Athletics Kenya (AK) have replaced three athletes in the Team Kenya ahead of the 14th edition of the Confederation of Africa Athletics (CAA) Under-20 Championships set to start next week in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
Overall, team manager Elizabeth Keitany said Dolphine Omare of Keroka Athletics Camp will replace injured Agnes Chebet in 5,000m while Bravin Kipkosgei will replace Sammy Chebolei who was ejected from the camp over age cheating. Ronald Kipng’etich replaced Hillary Mosop in 3,000m steeplechase.
“We had issues with his age and he would not properly explain himself and therefore we decided to replace him,” added Keitany.
World Under-20 and Africa 5, 000m champion Edward Zakayo and Francis Leshoo have been named in the team on standby basis incase Reuben Poghisio and Joseph Rotiken fail to get their passports ahead of the team’s departure to Ivory Coast on Saturday.
Leshoo recently clinched a gold medal in 800m during the ANOCA Youth Games in Huye, Rwanda. Athletics Kenya (AK) youth committee chairman, Barnabas Korir said thorough vetting was done to get rid of any age cheating.
“We did another vetting exercise in the camp to ensure we have the right athletes to represent us in Ivory Coast. Some of those who have been replaced have issues with their documentation,” Korir explained.
Keitany was, however, upbeat about the team’s preparations, adding that their target is to top the medal standings.
“Our prayer is that we continue with our dominance. Coach Robert Ngirisei has assured me that the team is in good shape ahead of the championships,” she added.
She, however, said they are working on 10, 000m and 3, 000m steeplechase athletes who reported to camp late.