Kenyans upcoming runners look beyond the youth show

Fast-rising stars have described the just concluded World Under-18 Championships as a perfect career launching platform.
The athletes expressed optimism of continuing Kenya’s production line in athletics, having earned medals at this level. George Manangoi, who delivered Kenya’s first gold medal of the championships in boys’ 1,500m, lauded his skill execution that earned him gold. “I can’t imagine I did it ! I had to look at the replays again and again to actually believed it. It was a perfect start for my long cherished dream,” Manangoi said.
“It came through hard work and discipline and since we have many Kenyan athletes who begun their career at this stage, I will emulate what they did and hope it will end up into a success story in future,” he said. George is a younger brother to world 1,500m silver medallist Elijah Manangoi. “It’s my brother, who gave me the tactical skills before the start of the race. He told me to study my competitors well and break away at the right moment,” said the younger Manangoi, the lone Kenyan runner in the category after Dominic Kipkemboi failed to start due to an injury.
Olympic and world champion Vivian Cheruiyot is among other Kenya’s athletes who launched their careers at the youth event having participated at the inaugural World Youth Championships in 1999.Caren Chebet, who won gold in a World under 18 lead time of 6:24.80 after leading her compatriot Mercy Chepkurui to a silver, also hopes to strike it big in the neat future. “I am very motivated and I hope to I will sit with my coach Paul Kemei to chart the way forward. I have targets just like the rest of the elite runners,” she said. Mary Moraa and Moitalel Mpoke who won silver medal in girls’ 400m and boys’ 400m hurdles respectively proved that Kenya has the potential to shine in sprints. “I think our government and relevant authorities have seen what we can do in sprints and they will give us the necessary support,” Moitalel said.

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