Young athlete appeals for help
2 months ago, 23 Oct 03:00
Javelin prodigy Ita Nao, who is now being regarded as a possible heir to 2015 World and 2014 Commonwealth javelin champion Julius Yego, is in need.
Nao has appealed to Athletics Kenya and the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Nock) to help him secure a coach.
The 18-year-old said he could have finished in the medal bracket at the just ended Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina if he had a tactician to help him in preparations.
Nao finished fourth overall at the Youth Olympic Games with an aggregate of 147.25metres after he hauled a personal best of 74.52m in stage two of the javelin throw contest.
Nao, who won silver at Africa Youth with a throw of 67.18 metres, was placed seventh going into the final stage after he managed 72.73m.
The winner was Topias Laine (Finland) with 153.42m (74.57, 78.85 followed by Gustavo Agustin (Argentina) 150.28 (76.03, 74.25) and Martin Florian (Czech) 150.24m (74.00, 76.24).
“The problem is that I have been training all alone without a coach. I went to both Africa Youth and Youth Olympics without a coach,” said Nao upon arrival on Sunday with Team Kenya from the Youth Olympics.
“In fact, my rivals were amazed that I have no coach.”
When hosting the team for breakfast on Sunday, Nock president Paul Tergat said that Kenyan athletes participating in field events will be subjected to specialised training ahead of major competitions.
Tergat, who was touched by the plight of Kenyan javelin throwers Ita Nao and Martha Nthanze, who competed at Youth Olympics without a coach, promised that it won’t happen again in future.
“It’s time to walk the talk now. We can’t have athletes in specialized events travel alone without proper coaches. Such specialised events will require at least a coach to travel with the athletes even with minimal resources,” said Tergat.
The team arrived at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport shortly before 8am on Sunday to a great reception from Nock officials and parents.
Tergat reiterated his call for the country to expand its scope to other sporting disciplines other than athletics if they hope to earn more medals from the Olympics and Commonwealth Games.
“We need to invest more in the youth and that journey must start now,” said Tergat, who challenged the sporting federations to strengthen their programs and teams ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games.
Tergat hailed the team’s good show despite being a lean squad of 20 drawn from athletics and hockey after one swimmer, Maria Brunlehner withdrew due to illness.
Kenya collected four medals; three gold and a silver, all from athletics to finish 26th overall from 206 countries. Kenya finished second behind China in athletics.
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