AK’s Korir casts doubts on Kenyans participation at Diamond League, other races abroad

Friday, July 24th, 2020 19:00 |
AK’s NEC member Barnabas Korir (left) joins AK president Jack Tuwei (centre) at a past media briefing. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

Kenyans’ participation at the 2020 Diamond League event now looks unlikely with Athletics Kenya (AK) admitting that the situation is more complicated than initially perceived as it hinges more on safety than anything else.

AK NEC member Barnabas Korir in an interview with People Sport yesterday, warned that while the Sports Ministry continues to  negotiate with their counterparts in the European Union to allow Kenyan athletes take part in the Diamond League and other races in Europe, expectations should not be high before other factors are not put into considerations.

“Ultimately, it is my wish that at least some athletes will be cleared to run in Monaco on August 14. But for now we can only wait and see,” said Korir.

So far, a number of Kenyan athletes have landed invitations to feature at the Monaco leg of the Diamond League next month.

Korir confirmed about the invitations, saying organizers of the competition have been in communication with the local federation and even gone ahead to give their own restrictions before being allowed to compete.

“Diamond league organisers have their own restrictions, different from the European Union’s and the core one is that all the invited athletes must be tested here before and given a certificate boarding a plane.

Also before they compete, another test will be conducted in Monaco before the races commence,” Korir said.

He added: “Those are some of the issues that must be adhered to. First off all it lies squarely on the local government, because first the Ministry of Health has to conduct the tests and the Ministry of Transport’s announcement on when the international flights will resume.”

The situation about the resumption of International flight and sports resumption had not been made easier as the Kenya’s Covid-19 cases continue to rise, by Wednesday evening the total deaths had increased to 260 while the confirmed infections had reached 14,805 something Korir said should be worrying.

“This is a serious issue that needs to be understood. Ultimately it’s about the health of our brothers and sisters.

The priority now is to ensure that we are safe and if protocols have been set to allow our athletes to participate, we will follow all the guidelines given so that they can travel.

If there are no guidelines if they are not allowed to travel or if there are no international flights, then clearly there is nothing we can do as Athletics Kenya and of course the country cannot do much if Europe does not allow citizens of this country to travel to their regions,” Korir said.

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