Rescheduled World Under 20 championships to be hosted at the Moi Sports Centre, Kasarani has locked out many junior athletes who were set for the championships this year.
As he makes his debut at the Diamond League, competing in 5,000m this weekend at the Monaco Diamond League, the reigning Africa Youth 5,000m silver medalist Jacob Krop is one of the most disappointed junior runner who will miss the championships due to his age after World Athletics released the age of those potential runners.
“Am so sad that I will not compete at the coveted world under 20 championships at home not because I am not prepared but because of the coronavirus. I was well prepared to win gold on home soil this year but due to the virus, the championships were postponed, meaning I can’t make it,” said Krop on Wednesday after landing in Monaco, France for the start of the season.
Early this month, the world athletics federation released the World Athletics Council approved new dates for the World U20 Championships in Nairobi 2020.
The World U20 Championships will now be held from August 17 to 22, 2021 with athletes aged 16, 17, 18 or 19 years on December 31, 2021, will be eligible to compete.
The Form Four student at Chewoyet National secondary school in West Pokot said that with such age bracket, he will not eligible to compete as he will be 20 years old.
“It is hard to believe missing out on such championships but I have to accept the outcome. I have decided to run seriously with seniors since I have no option,” said Krop who will turn 20 on 4th June 2021.
Enjoying 13:03 as his personal best set during the 2019 world championships in Doha, Qatar, the youngster, who paced for two times world under 20 10,000m champion Rhonex Kipruto to break the 10km world record set at Valencia Ibercaja 10km road race in Valencia, Spain said he will be trying his level best to break into the senior ranks and is expected on the podium at the Monaco Diamond League.
“COVID-19 has posed challenges and going to run, we only pray to God for good results. As I enjoy 13:03 as my personal best set in Doha, I want to improve and run better time on my debut,” he said.
He says that his training was full of challenges since there was no speedwork and they will use their experience in Monaco.
Coming from Lelan area in West Pokot, which is a high altitude was joined by Africa junior cross country champion Nicholas Kimeli at the 2019 world Athletics championships in Doha, Qatar, which he describes as the best experience as a junior, running with elite runners.
“It was my first time to compete with senior athletes and I gained much-needed experience after finishing 4th and realized that I have not reached that serious competitive race and I thought of training more. My training had not reached that level of top runners in the world but am now working on it,” said the Krop.
Apart from dominating on track, he also won the inaugural Endebbes 10km title in 2018 but failed to defend the following year, dropping to the second position.