Kenya to focus on World Youth, Africa junior events in 2017 season

Nairobi, Dec 22 (IANS) Kenya is set to select two teams of young athletes to compete at the World Youth and Africa U-20 Championships next year.

Head coach Julius Kirwa said the two events are important and must be planned separately, reports Xinhua.

Also upcoming is the Commonwealth Youth Games in June 2017, which may include athletes from either of the two top meetings that Kenya is looking forward to.

“The Commonwealth games are not as important as the World Youth and the Africa Junior events. We must get the right people for these events and then plan to see what we take to the Commonwealth games in Nassau, Bahamas,” Kirwa said on Wednesday.

The 13th Africa U-20 Athletics championships, which also serve as the Africa Junior Championships, will take place in Tlemcen, Algeria from May 12 to 15, 2017.

African athletics chief Hamad Kalkaba Malboum said that Kenya is an important country in athletics and must send their best to the African event to boost the profile of the competition.

“I know Kenya will select its best athletes for the Africa event and then see what they can take to the Commonwealth Youth Games,” he said a week ago when he toured the country to inspect the organisational work of the 2017 World Youth Championships, which will be hosted in Nairobi from July 12-17.

Algeria, who is hosting the Africa Junior championships, have expressed its commitment to staging a world class event. President of the Algeria Athletics Federation Amar Bouras, who was also on the tour to Kenya, said preparations for the event are underway.

Algerian athletes will have a busy international competition calendar for 2017 according to a publication by the Algerian athletic federation on their official website.

Athletics was the only sport in which Algeria won medals at the latest Olympics in Rio, with the two silver medals won by Taoufik Makhloufi in the 800 metre and 1500m.

–IANS

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