Team Kenya picks from where they left yesterday as the hunt for gold continues on the second day of the IAAF World Under-18 Championship taking place at Kasarani Stadium.
Joseph Nyakundi will be the first Kenyan in action today, looking to qualify for the boys’ Shot Put (5kg) semi-finals at 9.45am, a first for him and the country on such a stage with South Africa’s Jonathan Lacey being the only other African competitor.
Kenya’s attention will, however, be on Edward Zakayo and Stanley Mburu who will be in action five minutes later in the boys’ 3,000m heats, seeking to qualify for the next round.
The two will hope to repeat the feats of Richard Yator and Davis Kiplagat who picked gold and silver medals respectively in the last edition in Cali, Colombia two years ago.
Zakayo boasts a personal best of 7:53.8, better than Yator’s winning time of 7:54.45 while Mburu’s is 7:56.0. Being the only athletes in the two mile event with a sub 8:00, their closest rivals are Ethiopian duo of Selemon Barega (8:05.50) and Milkesa Mengesha (8:12.90) as well as Eritrea’s Michael Bereket (8:13.40) and Oscar Chelimo of Uganda with 8:19.7.
Leah Jeruto and Irene Akinyi will then be next on the track in the girls’ 400m hurdles heats from 10.32am, seeking to qualify for the semi-final before Lydia Jeruto and Jackline Wambui try to break the jinx that has seen Kenya go without a gold medal in the women’s 800m since Cherono Koech clinched it in record breaking style during the sixth edition held in Italy.
Jeruto, whose personal best is 2:03.17, will be first in heat one at 11.05am while Wambui (2:06.63) races in heat three at 11.21am. Thirteen athletes qualify for the semis, the first three in each heat and the next four fastest finishers.
The duo will give way to Christabel Abuti, who will be out to qualify for the girls’ Hammer Throw final during the qualification round at 11.35am while Peter Wambua will fight for a semi-final berth in heat four of the boys’ 110m hurdles at 12.41pm.
In the afternoon session, Musyoka Mwema will be gunning for gold in long jump at 4.35pm while Moitalel Mpoke and David Saruni prepare for the boys’ 400m hurdles heats that gun off five minutes later. Meanwhile, Ita Nao Leshan will be the only Kenyan in the boys’ javelin throw (700g) finals that begin at 5.55pm.