Top junior runners gear up for Mumias AK meeting


Africa under 18  and under 20 runners are expected to rock the second edition of the Athletics Kenya series at the Mumias Sports Complex this weekend.

Judy Kirui, Emmanuel Kiplagat and David Sanayek, who dominated the continental championships will brush shoulders with top runners as athletes begin preparations for the All Africa Games and World Championships.

Kirui, the 2,000m steeplechase under 18 champion will be seeking to extend her dominance when she takes on experienced athletes in the 5,000m race.

Kiplagat, on the other hand, was untouchable in the under 18 boys’ 3,000m but will also upgrade to the 5,000m in Mumias.

He won the Africa title in 8:14.51 ahead of compatriot Gideon Rono (8:17.83) who settled for a bronze.

Sanayek anchored Team Kenya to the 4x400m title in the under 20 category in Abidjan last month but lost in the semifinals of the 400m.

Experienced coach Barnabas Kitilit said he will be travelling with a contingent of  15 junior athletes to Mumias.

He revealed that among them is first leg 10,000m winner Qauline Kiprop, who will compete in the 25-lap race. Others include reigning Kass Marathon 10km champion Gilbert Kimunyan.

“We have prepared well for Mumias,” said Kitilit. “The young boys and girls have given their all to be in good shape as we head for the remaining two legs —Mumias and Narok. We expect a tough meeting since top athletes will be in action.”

2018 IAAF Muller World Indoor Grand Prix 3,000m champion Justus Soget will be competing in his first race after returning from the bush, where he underwent circumcision.

“Soget will be competing for the first time since his transition and we expect good results from him,” he added.

“We want to stage successful championships because of the large number of athletes who are expected to compete here,” said Athletics Kenya Western region chairman Patrick Sang .


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