World javelin champion Julius Yego has raised concerns over training gears for young athletes representing the country in field events at the World Under 18 Championships.
Kenya’s sole representative in javelin in the youth Ita Nao Leshan, finished ninth overall in the final despite snatching a personal best of 64.66m on Thursday.
Favourite Zhekai Liu from China lived to his billing to haul personal best 77.54m to win gold as South Africa’s Johannes Schlebusch settled for silver in 75.68. Another Chinese Quingshu Song took bronze in 73.64.
Yego said that there is great talent in the country but accused federation chiefs of not being keen on nurturing upcoming athletes.
“We have great talent in our country but the problem is that we don’t have good facilities that will help the athletes in training. For instance, Leshan who is participating in javelin, is using wrong shoes which makes him not perform well,” said Yego.
Athletics Kenya Youth Committee chairman Barnabas Korir however said the training gears for the field events were bought but were not delivered on time.
“We brought the field events equipment they are stuck at the airport because of customs. The youth could not perform well since they did not have the right gear,” said Korir.
Korir shifted the blame to the event’s Local Organising Committee, saying they did not acquire the gears on time.
“If Athletics Kenya could have been given the purchasing budget, we would have done that very long time ago since we knew how important this events are for the country. I have been to the airport severally trying to secure the gear in vain.”
Leshan said he has picked up valuable lessons in the championships despite the shortcomings.
“I have done my best in the javelin and I know I will go far. I will go back to train since I want to be in the World Junior Under-20 Championships where I want to do wonders,” said the standard eight pupil in St. Olive Junior Academy in Narok.
“I didn’t do enough training but I must say that given a good chance with a good coach and the right gear, I will do better.”