National athletics youth team head coach Robert Ngisirei has called for a diversification of athletics disciplines if the country is to excel at the 2017 World Youth Championships in Nairobi.
Ngisirei, who led the team to a second place finish in Cali, Colombia last week, said their conquerers, the USA had a huge representation in field events unlike Kenya who had none.
Kenya bagged 13 medals including five gold, four silver and four bronze medals against the Americans’ 19 (8 gold 5 silver 6 bronze) as Japan collected five medals (3 gold, silver and bronze) for third.
“If you look at the US, most of their medals came from the more technical events,” said Ngisirei. “We had nobody in field events. We conquered nearly all the track events especially in the boys’ category but this was not enough to outdo them.”
Kenya won the 800m (boys), 1500m (boys) 2000m steeplechase (boys and girls) and 3000m (boys) while the US won the 100m (girls), 200m (girls), 800m (girls) 400m hurdles (boys and girls) long jump (girls), shot put (boys) and 4x400m (girls).
“We need to train the sprinters. We need to have an academy for the sprinters and field event athletes, specifically,” observed Ngisirei. “This will help us develop this group from the word go and at a younger age. Empty talk will never take us anywhere.”
“We face a threat in that the rest of the world have upped their games. Imagine a country like Bahrain winning the 400m (girls) and the other day they won the girls’ steeplechase. We need to watch our next step and change our training tactics to enable us conquer the world (come 2017).”
Kenya’s medallists from Cali–Gold: Kumari Taki (boys’ 1500m), Celliphine Chepteek Chespol (girls’ 2000m steeple), Willy Kiplimo Tarbei (boys’ 800m), Richard Yator Kimunyan (boys’ 3000m), Vincent Kipyegon Ruto (boys’ 2000m steeple); SILVER: Emily Chebet Kipchumba (girls’ 3000m), Sandrafelis Chebet Tuei (2000m girls’ steeple), Kipyegon Bett (boys’ 800m), Davis Kiplangat (boys’ 3000m); BRONZE: Sheila Chelangat (girls’ 3000m), Lawi Kosgei (boys’ 1500m), Joyline Cherotich (girls’ 1500m), Geofrey Rotich (boys’ 2000m steeple).