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Kenyan team ready for World Junior conquest

13 July 2014, 09:21

Nairobi - Quality will be the yardstick, as Kenya seeks to defend its turf by entering 26 athletes to the World Junior Championships, in Eugene, Oregon in the U.S. starting on July 22-27.

World Junior 5,000m bronze medalist Agnes Jebet, 3,000m steeplechase gold medallist Daisy Chepkemei and Moses Mukono, the Africa cross country Junior man's champion will be eyeing top performance as they seek to use the events as a springing board before graduating to the senior ranks.

Team captain Alex Sampao remained confident of a successful outing, saying the country will dominate its traditional events, and will raffle feathers in the new areas like field events and sprints.

Sampao, however, wants the Kenyan officials in charge of the track and field to provide incentives to the sprinters so that they can focus on developing their careers and not shift attention to middle and long distance once they graduate.

"The coaches have done a very good job, having introduced workable schedules which we have found very effective," said Sampao who will line up in 400m and 4x400m relay. "Sprinters need to be helped with the right equipment rather that advocating for their shift from the short to middle distance races.

"We have been setting times that are not far from internationally set times and all that is needed in the little help in equipment and encouragement to help us succeed."

For Jebet and Chepkemei, Eugene will be their second stage in the World Junior Championships after their debut in 2012 in Barcelona, Spain.

Kenya team, which will be handled by coach Andrew Maritim, has set huge targets at the bi-annual global contests thanks to the intensive but wide training programme that include checks on anxiety levels and mental preparedness.

 - Xinhua

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