Kenya: Government to Put U-20 Athletes in Training After Competition

The government will put Team Kenya athletes who compete in the 2021 World Athletics Under-20 Championships on a special training programme after the event.

Sports Principal Secretary Joe Okudo has said that the government has held talks with Athletics Kenya with a view to adopting the 46 athletes, who will represent Kenya in the world junior event with the 2024 Paris Olympic Games in mind.

“I have held talks with AK President Jack Tuwei on Kenya’s preparation for the 2024 Paris Olympics and the way to prepare well is to adopt these youngsters,” Okudo said. “We shall ensure they receive good training and education, too, ahead of the Olympics.”

During the 2017 World Athletics Under-18 Championships held in Nairobi, the government also promised to adopt the Kenyan team. The plan didn’t materialise.

Only two athletes from the 2017 Under-18 team made the transition and competed at the just concluded 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. They are Mary Moraa and Edinah Jebitok, who reached the semi-finals of the 800m and 1,500m events respectively.

World Athletics Under-20 Chief Executive Officer, Mike Rabar is of the view that Ministry of Sports should take over the current team to ensure the athletes are supported both in school and in athletics.

“We now need to walk the talk as a country by taking it upon ourselves to make sure these juniors have a smooth and remarkable transition to the 2024 Paris Olympics,” said Rabar. He said the onus is on the World Under-20 Local Organising Committee to ensure the plan bears fruit.