Kipruto, NOC-K back Games postponement

Wednesday, March 25th, 2020 00:00 |
Olympics and World 3,000m steeplechase champion Consenslus Kipruto.

Olympics and World 3,000m steeplechase  champion Consenslus Kipruto has backed the postponement of the Summer Olympics in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Kipruto, who hoped to defend his title in Tokyo this year, feels it is in the best interest of the athletes for the games to be called off until the situation allows. 

“In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the best decision, in my opinion, was to postpone the Games until such a time when a cure is found and the safety of everyone who will attend the competitions is guaranteed.

This will also give us time as athletes to prepare well as the prevailing conditions do not allow us to do that,” said Kipruto.

The 25-year-old says training alone has been challenging given the government’s directive to ban gatherings to avoid the further spread of the disease, adding that the situation is made worse by the fact the he is far from his coach Japter Keter.

“It is tough. I had to ask the coach to stay away for now. This would have definitely affected results at the Olympics if we had not got more time for better preparations.

I am keeping tabs with my fellow athletes via the phone and the situation is the same for them,” he added. 

His, and Kenya’s three decade, dominance in the distance came under threat during the World Championships in Qatar last year as Kipruto had to chase down Ethiopia’s Lamache Girma to clinch gold by a hundredth of a second.

A photo finish saw the Kenyan race home in a world leading time of 8:1.35 while the Ethiopian recorded 8:1.36 to settle for silver as Kipruto clinched gold. 

The National Olympics Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) has also welcomed the decision to postpone the Games, saying it will help the country’s athletes prepare well.

“This gives great time and opportunity for those who have qualified to prepare and those who had not the chance to give it their best shot,” said NOC-K. 

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