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Kenyans hope gamble by athletics chiefs pays off

By | March 9th 2012

Since Kenya won a gold medal over 10,000m at the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games, the country has not registered victory over the distance and also in the 5,000m at the Olympics.

Despite winning gold medals over the distances at the World Championships with the latest being Vivian Cheruiyot’s double in Daegu, Korea, last year, the Olympics has been a hard nut to crack.

With the latest Olympics coming up in London in August, Athletics Kenya (AK) think that something should be done differently over the distance and hence their resolve last month to hold the trials for the two events in the US.

AK are of the idea that if the 10,000m and the 5,000m trials are held at low altitude in Eugene, USA, then it will augur well for our runners who will also be competing at low altitude in London.

The AK bosses believe that the high altitude in Nairobi, which has always hosted the trials has contributed to the poor showing at the Olympics.

The move by AK, however, has not gone down well with a number of athletics stakeholders who believe that holding the trials abroad is taking a Kenyan event away from Kenyans.

They say that having only a few select athletes to go and compete in the US over the distance will lock out other new kids on the block who are expected to emerge during the day of trials and upset the order.

They think that we will not see new John Ngugis and William Sigeis who were unearthed during trials at the Nyayo National Stadium and went ahead to conquer the world.

London climate

It seems that AK might have some reason to want the trials in the US, but the way they are putting it out is not satisfactory or there is something they are hiding from the public.

If former athletes like Moses Tanui, a former world champion over 10,000m thinks that AK’s move was wrong then the athletics bosses should rethink it.

They should understand that maybe we should be thinking of giving our athletes improved methods of training as holding the trials in the US without proper training might not work.

They should think of maybe holding the training in an area that will mirror the London climate once the trials have been held in its traditional venue of Nyayo.

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