Wesley Korir, the MP for Cherangany and Rio Team Kenya captain, is furious with the manner in which Kenya officials manned water points during Sunday’s Olympic marathon showdown.
Korir, fourth-placed at the Boston Marathon race last April, said the mix-up of water cost him the chase for Olympic silver.
Eventual winner Eliud Kipchoge could be seen live on TV wondering where the blundering Kenyan officials were as arch-rivals from Ethiopia wheeled away, well hydrated.
Korir would later post on his Facebook page: “I am Ok. The water mix-up at 30km where the officials mixed up my personal drink with Stanley Biwott, where I was given Stanley’s and he was given mine.
“That caused both of us to have some serious stomach problems! I missed my drinks three times due to poor Kenyan officials manning the water points and had to borrow Eliud’s, which too made me throw up in the middle of the race!
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“But all in all, I am happy to have had the opportunity to represent my country in Olympics and help my country man Eliud win the Gold! Thanks to all who supported me and prayed for me! To God be the glory all the time,” honourable Wesley Kipchumba Korir, the 2012 Boston Marathon winner, posted on Facebook.
The picture (above) clearly shows Korir handing back Kipchoge’s water bottle.
The remarks generated reactions from athletics lovers, with most of them saying coaches and team officials should shoulder the blame.
In another instance, the 2005 5000m World Champion Benjamin Limo stumbled on an unmanned water point for Team Kenya at the 5km mark.
Bernard Ouma, a coach at Nairobi’s Rongai Athletics Club, concurred with Korir.
“Like any other physical movement, running requires mechanical events of muscular activity. The energy supply of the muscular functions is acquired from the chemical conversion into mechanical action, which involves contraction and relaxation.
“In long distance races, like marathon where the aerobic capacity and stamina endurance is important, the steady and continuous energy supply is fundamental. Rehydration and moderate isotopic drinks promote fat utilisation.
“These come in different flavours and composition. And tastes vary from one athlete to another. They are always tried and tested during training to avoid any stomach upset during competition. Therefore, the mix up must have resulted in the athletes’ stomach problems,” said Ouma, who coaches Olympics 800m member Winnie Chebet, Elijah Manangoi and Timothy Cheruiyot.
Athletes across the country have called for heads to roll at both Athletics Kenya and National Olympic of Kenya.