Coach Kirwa terms Africa Games team ‘best ever’ as camp starts
Seven days to departure for the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar from September 27 to October 6, Kenya head coach Julius Kirwa has urged athletes to be honest and disclose injuries well in advance.
Speaking to People Daily from the team's camp at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, yesterday, Kirwa said that dropped athletes upset participation figures, going by previous outings.
"I have seen athletes who start wobbling and hobbling after coming last then start complaining about Injuries they have been carrying. Kindly if you are injured, do let us know your state. It will be good for everyone," urged Kirwa.
"I don't think there is a country with more qualified athletes than Kenya. Therefore that is why I am advocating is that that only fit athletes should travel. It embarrassing to see someone with Kenya colours (red) finishing last because of hiding an injury," said Kirwa.
His sentiments come after World 1,500m champion Elijah Manangoi pulled out of the team due to an injury.
"I have been in the business for many years. That is kind of bravery I want. In 1,500m alone, we have like 49 athletes who have made the qualifying time and over 60 athletes taking part in the event. Therefore I am not worried with replacements," he said.
As part of preparations for Doha, where the weather conditions are expected to be extreme, Kirwa says the team has changed their training schedule to match what is expected later in the month.
"We have been training in the afternoon when the sun is very hot. We expect hot and humid conditions in Doha. We shall be training from Athi River from around noon today (Wednesday)," said Kirwa.
Meanwhile, Athletics Kenya senior vice president Paul Mutwii says the fate of the men's 5,000m team is still unclear with only Nicholas Kimeli currently in camp.
"We are still hopeful athletes Michael Kibet and Daniel Simiyu, who finished first and second, respectively, during the trials will know their fate by tomorrow. We are still waiting for response from Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) since they had not met certain conditions. But we have stand by athletes just in case it doesn't go well," he said.
According to Mutwii, the women’s marathon runners will be the first to leave for Doha on September 22 while the men’s marathon team on September 27. The track and field athletes will depart on September 24.
The camp will be officially launched by sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed this afternoon.
Athletes in camp
400m Alphas Kishoyian, Emmanuel Korir (men). Hellen Syombua, Mary Moraa (women)
800m: - Ngéno Kipng’etich, Emmanuel Korir, Ferguson Rotich (men). Eunice Sum, Jackline Wambui (women)
1,500m: - Elijah Manang'oi, Timothy Cheruiyot, Ronald Kwemoi, George Manang'oi. Faith Chepng'etich, Winnie Chebet
3,000m steeplechase: - Conseslus Kipruto, Leonard Bett, Benjamin Kigen, Abraham Kibiwott (men). Beatrice Chepkoech, Hyvin Kiyeng, Celliphine Chespol, Fancy Cherono (women)
5,000m: - Nicholas Kimeli (men). Hellen Obiri, Lilian Kasait, Margaret Chelimo (women)
10,000m: - Rhonex Kipruto, Rodgers Kwemoi, Alex Oloitiptip (men). Agnes Jebet Tirop, Hellen Obiri, Rosemary Wanjiru (women)
20km race walk: - Samuel Gathimba (men). Grace Wanjiru (women)
Mixed Relay: - Alphas Kishoyian, Alex Sampao, Joseph Poghisio, Mary Moraa, Gladys Musyoki
Javelin: - Julius Yego (men)
High Jump: - Matthew Sawe (men)
Julius Kirwa (head coach), Richard Metto, Joseph Cheromei, Abraham Kiplimo, Ben Ouma, Shem Kororia, David Kitur