- Lemotit Athletics Club in Kericho County is still determining to send at least 10 athletes to the forthcoming World Under-20 Athletics Championships despite the camp training interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The camp Head coach Paul Kemei has pointed out that most of his athletes broke camp owing to Covid-19 health protocols, but he is helping most of them with individual training programs.
“There are a few lucky ones living nearby and some are at the camp but observing strict Coronavirus rules, but there are no group training sessions,” Kemei said.
The camp has 46 athletes, 26 of whom are in contention for places in Team Kenya for World Under-20 Championships.
“We hope to take at least 10 to the world junior event,” he said.
The event was slated for July 7-12 but it was postponed due to Covid-19 with its fate waiting for the World Athletics to announce the new dates for the event which is likely to be held next year.
With the funding from the government, Athletics Kenya organized 19 training camps across the country in September and December last year as well as April this year to prepare athletes for the world junior event.
Although the April camp did not take place, Cabinet Secretary for Sports Amina Mohammed directed that funds that had been set aside for the same be used to benefit the athletes and coaches directly as they train individually.
“We thank the CS for this noble gesture. It’s one of a kind,” said Kemei.
The camp has many talented juniors with the potential to represent Kenya in the world Under-20 Championships. Among them are Triza Cherotich (3,000 meters steeplechase), Magdalene Cherono (5,000m), and Iscah Chelangat (3,000m).
“Training alone is challenging. We have lost the momentum from the two previous camps we had. You gain a lot in group training but there is little one can do now because staying healthy and safe in more important now,” the 16-year-old Cherotich said.
Also, Lemotit Athletics Club has produced elite athletes, among them 2019 World Cross Country Championships women’s Under-20 champion, Beatrice Chebet.
Other young talents like Youth Olympics 3,000m silver medalist Mercy Chepkorir and Ann Naasicho (3,000m)are facing age barrier should the event be held next year.