Top six budding youngsters to look out for in the 2023 athletics season

ATHLETICS Top six budding youngsters to look out for in the 2023 athletics season

Abigael Wafula 13:57 - 21.02.2023

They include 2021 World Under-20 800m champion Emmanuel Wanyonyi and World Under-20 3000m steeplechase champion Faith Cherotich.

Athletics in Kenya is a well-established field and in recent years, Athletics Kenya has embraced the participation of young blood in major championships with the confidence that they are the future of the nation. 

Some of these youngsters have proven to be unbeatable on the global stage and they are promising to make 2023 a thriller. Here is a list of the athletes tipped for greatness in 2023. 

1) Faith Cherotich

Before, 2022, very little was known about Cherotich. The only title on her name was World Under-20 3000m SC bronze medallist, a title she won during the 2021 World Athletics Championships. However, Cherotich has proven to be in a class of her own as time progresses.

In 2022, just at 18 years, Cherotich had won the Kip-Keino Classic competitions and a world junior title. Just to be precise, the Kip-Keino Classic comprised of senior athletes from across the continent.

During the World Under-20 Championships in Cali, Colombia last week, she obliterated a star-studded field to clinch the 3000m SC title. This did not come as a surprise because during the national trials for the global event (held at the Nyayo national stadium), she displayed astonishing results to earn a direct ticket to Cali.

With her major achievements, she was nominated by World Athletics under the women’s rising star category.

Late last year, she also proved to be unbeatable at the national trials for the just-concluded World Cross-country championships in Budapest. She won the junior race in 19:16. In her debut at the global event, she looked poised as she settled for fourth place in the highly contested race. She is definitely one to watch.

2) Emmanuel Wanyonyi

Wanyonyi is a former World Under-20 800m champion, a title he won during the World Athletics Championships in 2021. In 2022, Wanyonyi started off his career on a superb note after winning the 800m race at the Kip-keino Classic competitions.

At 17 years, Wanyonyi made his debut in the senior category at the at the World Championships in Oregon where against all odds he placed fourth in the 800m. This was an outstanding performance because he was racing against athletes who had more experience.

Just like Cherotich, he made it to the World Athletics men’s rising star award list of nominees last year.

He maintained a winning streak in his debut at the World Cross-country championships in the mixed relay category where they won gold. Wanyonyi has proven to be a go-getter and this year might have so much in store for him.

3) Noah Kibet

He might not have a great season last year but Kibet has bounced back with greater fortunes this year. At last year’s World Championships in Oregon, he had a disappointing outing which saw him fail to reach the final in the 800m.

Kibet would have made amends in the junior category at the World Under-20 championships in Cali the next month but there was still more that needed to be done. He settled for seventh place in the final of the 800m.

It seems like the youngster went back to the drawing board and surely, things have started out well for him this year. Kibet made headlines after winning the men’s 800m at the Milrose Games in 1:44.98, a personal best and earning him the fastest time over the distance this season. It was a world leading. Ladies and gentlemen, stay tuned for more to come from stunner Kibet.

4) Pamela Kosgei

She might have been the talk of town last year, but Kosgei might be turning tables this year. Being the younger sister to the women’s world marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei might just be one reason why she is about to explode.

At the just concluded World Cross-country championships in Bathurst, Australia, the youngster was in good shape throughout the race as she settled for third place. During the national trials of the event, she was nowhere among the top five but she has proved she can do well on the global stage at just 18-years-old.

5) Ishmael Kipkurui

Many had not known of his existence until he obliterated a strong field to win the junior men’s race at the just-concluded World Cross-country championships. Looking at him during the race, he was clearly in the form of his life.

Kipkurui is yet to make his debut at the World Championships and maybe this could be the year he does it. The 17-year-old is only getting started.

6) Brenda Chebet

At the 2021 World Under-20 championships, Chebet settled for seventh place in her heat in the 800m and could not proceed to the semifinal. In 2022, she came back for the Kip Keino Classic competitions where she placed ninth in the 1500m.

Chebet did not give up as she strived hard and placed second in the national trials for the 2022 World Under-20 Championships. At the global event, she was not much of a threat to the other athletes but she proved them all wrong and won the race.

She represented the country at the World Cross-country championships in the mixed relay category where she propelled the team to victory.

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