By Gilbert Wandera and Rebecca Gichana
President Kibaki is expected to attend the Olympics opening ceremony on July 27, but he might miss to see Kenya’s elite runners parade at the Olympic Stadium.
Both World 800m champion David Rudisha and Olympic winner Pamela Jelimo, who are the Kenya captains, are still in Nairobi and together with their colleagues might miss the opening ceremony due to disagreement over the departure dates.
Coaches in camp said on Monday the athletes prefer a July 30 departure date even though those in charge of the team want them to leave this Sunday.
The games opening ceremony will be held at the Olympic Stadium on July 27 and the officials are hoping to have the elite athletes parade the Kenyan flag.
The track programme starts on August 3 and the athletes feel it does not make sense to go and train in the unfriendly conditions in London for more than 10 days before they hit the track.
“Since the athletics programme starts early next month, it is not advisable to go early and we have told those in charge as much but we are waiting and we don’t know what will be decided,” one of the coaches in camp said.
The coach also warned that an early departure may have a negative impact on the team especially due to the weather conditions in London.
“If we are forced to leave early it might not auger well for the team performance when the competition starts,” the coach warned.
Jelimo, who will be hoping to successfully defender her 800m crown is also against an early departure, but insists that as top athletes, they should be ready for anything.
“I am not sure when the team is leaving but in my own personal opinion we should postpone departure for as long as possible to avoid the effect of altitude on our performance,” she said.
Jelimo is the team’s assistant captain and as a result was expected to be in London in time for the opening ceremony.
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