Middle distance coach Ben Ouma confident about sprinters

Wednesday, July 21st, 2021 00:00 |
Coach Benard Ouma behind (second left) with athletes Kumari Taki (left) Timothy Cheruiyot (centre), Vincent Keter (second right) and Edwin Melly (right) at Germs International School last year. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

Amos Abuga @Amokc1oo1

Middle distance coach Ben Ouma is confident Kenyan athletes will put up a good show when the Tokyo Olympic Games kick off this Friday.

Though the track events will commence a week later on July 30, Ouma says the country should expect a positive outcome.

Selected by Athletics Kenya to guide the sprinters, Ouma who commences his second week in Kurume for pre-Olympics training camp, is liking the progress.

“This is the pinnacle of competition. I know the majority of our athletes are hungry to run and have a lot of energy.

This is one competition that is laden with a lot of uncertainty due to Covid but again, in terms of performance, I foresee good results,” said Ouma. 

Ouma has backed sprinters Ferdinand Omanyala (100m), Mark Otieno (100m) and Hellen Syombua (400m) to shine in the Japanese capital.

“Championship races are quite demanding because you have to go through the heats, semis and finals, and people run conservative races.

That said, I see a lot of potential in our athletes. The three are making their debut at the Olympics and I predict they will give a good account of themselves,” said the coach who left the country last week for Tokyo with the three sprinters.

Ouma also weighed on Team Kenya’s preparations, which he feels have gone very well in general, at home and abroad.

“I am happy that Team Kenya is preparing very well.  Even back at home under national head coach Julius Kirwa,  there has been good management.

We have physios, we have seen nutritionists and psychologists with us. We have sports scientists as well doing the check-ups which is anchoring our training,” said Ouma.

Meanwhile, former 100m national record holder Otieno has said it was important to leave well in advance purposely to acclimatise with the warm  conditions in Tokyo and why.

“We did some training in Nairobi immediately after qualifying for Tokyo and also have been training here since arriving last week.

Training at home was good, though it was very cold. This warm weather here  is very good and is spurring us on. I can’t wait to get in the competition mood,” said Otieno.

Majority of team Kenya athletes currently training under a bubble at the Kasarani Stadium will be leaving for Tokyo on Friday  with the marathon team the last to leave the country on August 1.

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