Ten athletes selected mainly from the Kenya Secondary School Sports Association Term One national games will participate at this year’s Eastern Africa Youth Championships to be held today and tomorrow in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania as they seek to replicate last year’s performance at the regional show piece.
The team is led by national Under18 javelin champion Ita Nao Leshan, a Form Three student at Ololunga High School in Narok County who has caused a stir in the discipline competing against seniors and picking podium finishes in several athletics meets.
The third best male athlete at the Term One School Games Jackon Kavesa is single-handedly carrying the country’s hopes in retaining the 3,000m gold we won last year.
The Kivandini Secondary School student in Machakos County collected gold and silver in 5,000m and 3,000m at the KSSSA meet respectively.
Despite bagging gold and silver in girls’ and boys’ 1,500m during last year’s competitions, medals won by John Mwaniki and Anna Mwongeli (gold), Edwin Koskei and Loice Mbithe (silver), Athletics Kenya chose not to field any athletes in this category.
“We did not have time to conduct trials for these competitions since the Education ministry changed the school sports calendar and we had to contend with choosing athletes from the April competitions.
We also chose 36 athletes for the Africa Youth Olympic Games slated for July 17-27 from the same pool of students so we had to strike a balance,” said youth chairman Barnabas Korir.
In 200m boys Kevin Mwangi, a Form Four student at Murang’a’s Kirwara Secondary will be the only representative in the distance. Mwangi posted a time of 22.4 during the KSSSA games held in Embu.
In 100m, Mutuku Wambua, a Form Two student at Kisayani in Makueni county who posted a time of 11.1 will battle for a podium finish in 100m. Samwel Mwita and Francis Leshoo will compete in 400m and 800m respectively.