Solomon Lekuta on his way to win men’s 800m semi-finals during the IAAF World Championships in Tampere, Finland. [Dennis Okeyo, The Standard]

Over 200 junior runners will battle it at Eliud Kipchoge Annex Stadium Kapsabet tomorrow as Atheltics Kenya (AK) steps up preparations ahead of the national trials for the world junior championships slated for July 1 – 2 at the Nyayo National Stadium.

The one-day event will have upstart runners drawn from camps and schools within Baringo, Uasin Gishu and Nandi counties. This follows a similar event that was held in Machakos two weeks ago.

The reigning East Africa Secondary Schools 800m and 400m champions Nelly Jepchirchir and Faith Kipsang, who hold four titles from East Africa Secondary Schools Championships- long jump, triple jump, high jump and 100m will be among the star attractions.

The 18-year old Agnes Jebet will also be one of the notable athletes who will be keen to impress.

Jebet won silver in 3000m at Youth Olympics in Argentina 2018 and is also a two-time East Africa junior champion.

Other top juniors expected include Marion Cheruiyot,  Naomi Jeptoo and Shadrack Kipchirchir.

IAAF World Championships in Tampere, Finland. [Dennis Okeyo, The Standard]

AK director of youth and development Barnaba Korir said that the pre-trials are geared towards keeping the juniors preoccupied ahead of the main trials.

“We need to look out for the new talent since a month is not enough to groom upcoming talent. Remember some of the top junior runners who expected to compete last year have since surpassed the stipulated age bracket after the event was postponed due to Covid-19 pandemic,” said Korir.

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The AK Central Rift secretary general Kennedy Tanui confirmed that close to 200 junior athletes drawn from Kapchemoiywo and Kapkoimur camps in Nandi and Torongo in Baringo will produce 50 athletes each while the rest will come from schools within Central Rift.

After Central Rift, the pre-trials will head to Western, South Rift, Nyanza South, Nyanza North and Nairobi with Central hosting the last event on June 12.

AK director of youth and development Barnaba Korir. [Jonah Onyango, The Standard]

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