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UGANDAN ATHLETES START MEDAL HUNT AS IAAF U-18 WORLD CHAMPIOSHIPS BEGIN IN NAIROBI

NAIROBI, Ugandan athletes Joshua Kibet, Ayenyo Bekele, Layeng Eric and Titus Kwemoi begin their medal hunt as the IAAF Under-18 World Athletics Championships begins in Nairobi Wednesday.

Kibet and Ayenyo will be taking part in the 800 metres, Layeng in the 400m while Kwemoi will run the 3,000m.

The Ugandan team of 12 athletes -- nine boys and three girls -- arrived in Nairobi by bus Tuesday morning. Despite having a small contingent compared with other teams, Coach Moses Asonya is upbeat his team will pick up medals. "We have had sufficient training and are hopeful that we will get some medals," he said.

Uganda is using the championships -- the final Under-18 world championships to be organized by the IAAF -- to prepare for the IAAF World Umder-20 Championships due to be held in 2019 in Helsinki, Finland.

In future, only continental under-18 athletics championships will be held.

IAAF president Sebastian Coe said the world championships had been expensive for the athletics federations and a tough place to navigate for the young athletes who travel the world to compete on unfamiliar ground. "We are not abandoning our junior athletes. We are only modifying the format of competition so we can get value for our money," he said.

Coe earlier on Tuesday addressed the media in Nairobi flanked by Kenyan government and athletics officials plus select young athletes taking part in the championships. The championships conclude on Sunday.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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