Athletes compete in the 3000m SC women final during the Athletics Kenya Trials World U20 Championship at Moi Intetnational Sports Centre Kasarani in Nairobi, Kenya on July 03, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

The 2021 World Under-20 (WU20) Championships is scheduled to be held from August 17 to 22 in Nairobi, Kenya. Africa Youth 800m silver medalist Sheila Chepkosgei is looking beyond the WU20.

The biannual competition was pushed forward this year due to the global pandemic with fans not allowed when the action starts on Tuesday in Nairobi.

Chepkosgei rued the fact that no Kenyan woman reached the final of the 800m in Japan with Mary Moraa eliminated in the semi-finals of the event won by South Sudanese-born American runner, Athing Mu.

“As runners, we need to work hard to ensure we revive the good old days in 800m. We need to emulate the likes of former Olympic champion Pamela Jelimo and world champion Jeneth Jepkosgei and I guess my journey has just started,” the 18-year-old said in a recent interview in Nairobi.

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The WU20 was initially due to be held from July 7 to 12, 2020 but was pushed back by a year, a decision that Chepkosgei termed as “blessing in disguise.”

“My target is to win gold in 800m and I have been doing my best in training here at Kasarani. I want to go stronger because I feel we can redeem our country in 800m,” the 18-year-old declared.

Having bagged the continental youth medal in 2019 in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, Chepkosgei is optimistic she is ready for the middle step of the podium next week.

First contested in 1986, it was originally known as the World Junior Championships before being renamed the World U20 Championships in 2015.

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