"We have had sufficient training and are hopeful that we will get some medals."
PIC: IAAF president Sebastian Coe addressed the press in Nairobi flanked by a select group of athletes who also had a chance to make their remarks. (Credit: Jacky Achan)
IAAF WORLD U18 CHAMPIONSHIPS - NAIROBI
NAIROBI - Ugandan athletes including Joshua Kibet, Ayenyo Bekele, Layeng Eric and Titus Kwemoi start their medal hunt for Uganda on day one of the IAAF World U18 World Championships in the Kenyan capital Nairobi on Wednesday.
Kibet and Ayenyo will take part in the 800m, Layeng will be in the 400m while Kwemoi will run in the 3000m.
A team of 12 athletes - nine males and three females - arrived in Nairobi by bus Tuesday morning. Given a small contingent compaired to other teams, Coach Moses Asonya is upbeat his team will pick medals from the competition.
"We have had sufficient training and are hopeful that we will get some medals," he said.
Uganda is using the this event to prepare for the IAAF World U20 Championships due to take place in 2019 in Helsinki, Finland.
IAAF president Sebastian Coe (3rd from left) with local athletics officials in Nairobi. (Credit: Jacky Achan)
The 10th edition of the world U18 event will be the last of its kind before it is modified into a regional championships.
IAAF president Sebastian Coe said the world championships have been expensive for the athletics federations and tough place to navigate for the young athletes who travel the world to compete in 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 press in Nairobi flanked by Kenyan government and athletics officials plus select young athletes to take part in the championships.
The event kicks off Wednesday and concludes on Sunday.