Olympics dream still alive, says jumper Kirwa
National triple jump champion and National Police Service record holder Isaac Kirwa says his main focus is attaining the Olympics qualifying distance of 17 metres.
Kirwa’s hopes of having a go at the qualification last weekend went down the drain as Athletics Kenya excluded the event from the World Athletics Continental Tour at the Nyayo National Stadium.
Triple jump was one of the core events at the meet dubbed Kip Keino Nairobi Classic but low entries from foreign based competitors saw the discipline called off.
“AK had intended to run the discipline as part of the national events but that did not happen.
Six of us had prepared to compete and had met all the requirements but we were informed on the morning of the meet that triple jump was not on the programme.
That was disappointing as I had hoped to use the event to gauge my level after training on my own since the Covid-19 pandemic hit. However, I cannot dwell on the past.
I will take a break then get back to training in preparation for the next assignment,” said Kirwa.
Others who had hoped to compete in the one-day meet are Kenya Defence Forces duo of Philip Mwendwa and Betwel Lagat, Prison’s Tera Langat, Vincent Kilel and Africa junior silver medalist Dennis Kangogo.
Kirwa hopes to break the jinx that has seen Kenya miss out at the Summer Games since the national record holder Jacob Katonon graced the 1996 edition in Atlanta,Georgia.
The Kiganjo-based athlete has a personal best of 16.39m achieved during last year’s national championship where he booked a slot in Team Kenya to the Africa Games in Morocco.
He managed 15.63 at the continental Games to finish ninth. He also took part in long jump at the event, finishing fifth at 7.68m.
“I am 61 centimetres shy of clocking the qualifying distance of 17 metres. With the right speed training I will be able to cover that deficit and even do better.
I have always participated in three disciplines, triple jump, long jump and 400m but I have decided to concentrate on triple jump as I chase that Olympics slot.
“I have made plans to move from Kiganjo to Nairobi as I look to intensify my training. I need to work on my speed on a synthetic track and that is only possible in Nairobi,” added the 26-year-old who last featured in an international competition at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games where he picked up an injury that sidelined him until 2017.