By Omulo Okoth in London
How many more injuries are hidden from us? This is the question Chef de Mission of Team Kenya Jonathan Koskei was due to address on Wedneday evening at a meeting called specifically to review the performance of the team at this Olympics.
Steeplechase star Milka Chemos Chewya, 10,000m runners Wilson Kiprop and Joyce Chepkurui and outgoing Olympic 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop came to London with injuries, which they hid from the management team.
“I have summoned the medical staff to explain why they failed to detect this anomaly and report it to us,” Koskei, a senior Assistant Commissioner of Police, said on wednesday.
“Why did they fail to communicate issues from their areas of expertise to us as was expected of all officials?” he asked.
“These injuries are too many for an Olympic Games. How many more are they hiding from us?” wondered Koskei.
“It is unusual for our team to have so many injuries. It is affecting our performance and we are not taking it lightly. Some athletes may want to say participating in the Games is more important than winning medals. But to us Kenyans, we are used to winning medals,” said Koskei.
Kiprop said on Tuesday evening that he had suffered an injury in Nairobi on the last day of his training but that he had thought it would heal in time for the Games.
Chepkurui said the same thing, hoping her injury would heal. Chewya could not even attend a mandatory post-race interviews at the mixed zone. Same with Kiprop, who dropped out of the 10,000m.
Kiprop’s was the most embarrassing as he literally jogged from beginning to the end, which is quite unusual of an Olympic champion.
Meanwhile the men’s marathon team arrived in London yesterday morning ahead of their race, which will be run on the final day of the Olympics, Sunday.
Wilson Kipsang’, Abel Kirui and Emmanuel Mutai checked in at the Olympic Village at 9am after being received at the Heathrow Airport by Team Kenya’s Olympic Attache Dr Joe Sang, who works at the Kenyan High Commission in London.