Few athletes meet World Games qualifying times, headache for AK

Wednesday, March 17th, 2021 00:00 |
Athletes representative Nilcah Chemos (right) chats with former marathon runner Wilson Kipsang at a past function. Photo/PD/WEBSTER NYANDIKA

With the clock ticking away towards the Tokyo Olympics, panic mode has hit Athletics Kenya (AK) as none or very few runners have hit the qualifying standards for the summer Games.

The Federation is in a hurry to seek ways of ensuring it gets enough qualifiers, particularly for the long distance races, where the country currently lacks favourites who can bag medals at the Tokyo games. 

Sources said the AK has assembled a team of coaches to brainstorm and help it come up with a possible solution. Also in the team is Athletes Representative, Milka Chemos and AK’s senior vice president Paul Mutwii.

The team is currently in North Rift to visit places where a team of selected athletes can be put in camp to have them train with the aim of hitting the Olympic qualifying marks during the remaining one weekend meeting.

The team will visit Eldoret in Uasin Gishu County, then go to Kapsabet (Nandi County) and Iten and Kaptagat in Elgeyo Marakwet County to survey facilities and file a report to AK tomorrow (Wednesday) for the federation to pick one place where the selected athletes will assembly as soon as possible.

The Mutwii, Chemos and the coaches committee, sources said first met on Friday at Nyayo stadium during the first day of the weekend meeting where the senior vice president expressed the Federation’s concern that at the moment, Kenya has no medal prospects in men 5,000m and 10,000m in Tokyo.

The last men 5000m gold was won by John Ngugi in the 1988 Seoul, Korea Olympics while the only 10,000m gold ever for Kenya was won in 1968 by Naftali Temu in the Games held in Mexico.

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