Nyahururu athletes intensify training in preparation for Olympics

Thursday, June 3rd, 2021 00:00 |
World Under-20 5000m silver medallist Stanley Waithaka (left) leads Michael Kiptoo during an endurance work-out at Kibathi village in Nyahururu yesterday. Photo/PD/DAVID MACHARIA

World Under-20 5000m silver medallist, Stanley Waithaka was among athletes based in Nyahururu who stepped up their training on Madaraka Day, despite the day being a holiday.

The athletes told People Sport that a break would have interfered with their training programme which has been slated for specific days.

A spot-check on various grounds where the runners train, revealed a beehive of activities as the runners did various work out including speed work and endurance.

Waithaka, one of the runners gunning for a place in the national athletics team to the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan was among a section of runners doing endurance work out on a loop at Kibathi village under the watch of coaches Francis Kamau and Daniel Njenga.

Waithaka and his group, that included female athletes, did five laps on the 2.2km loop road around the settlement scheme.

He has not raced competitively since 2019 due to surgery to treat tonsils and the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic that disrupted athletics competitions globally.

Waithaka ran a world leading time in 10,000m during the Nippon Sports Science University long distance competition in Japan in April thus earning a ticket to take part in the Olympic trials set for June 17th to 19th at Kasarani stadium, Nairobi.

Competing for Japanese side, Yakult corporate team, Waithaka chalked up the victory in 27:19.16, which was within Olympic qualifying time of 27:28.

He is confident his stay in Japan will play a major role as he seeks to represent Kenya in 10,000m at the Olympic Games set for this summer.

The delayed Games are set to kick off on July 23- August 8 in the Japanese capital, Tokyo. The 21-year-old has a personal best of 27:13.01 set in 2018.

“We were anxious when he had not hit the qualifying time, but now we can train with confidence,” one of Waithaka’s coaches in Nyahururu, Daniel Njenga said.

At the Nyahururu stadium, among those who did their speed work on the murram track in the morning, was Monica Wangare who hopes to get an America travel visa to race in the New York City Mini 10K road race set for June 12.

Other Kenyans in the race are Ednah Kiplagat, Viola Cheptoo and Grace Kahura. Several Ethiopians and Americans are also in the competition.

“We (her and her manager) are pushing to get a special embassy appointment for the visa. I hope I will be able to travel,” Wangare said after her speed work.

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