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Kipchoge Keino Stadium in pathetic state, athletes say

SPORTS By Michael Wesonga | December 12th 2013

By Michael Wesonga

Uasin Gishu, Kenya:  Athletes have expressed displeasure with the dilapidated state of Kipchoge Keino Stadium even as Eldoret celebrates 100 years of existence and the country marks 50 years of independence.

The fifth largest town and second fastest developing town in the country will hold its centenary celebrations on December 20.

The commemoration will partly celebrate its world-class athletes that have made significant investments boosting sports tourism and have rightfully earned the town the title ‘Home of Champions’.

Expedite completion

Ironically though, the stadium is named after the iconic former chairman of the Kenyan Olympic committee and retired athlete who was among the 24 athletes inducted as inaugural members of the International Association of Athletics Federations Hall of Fame in 2012.

2009 World Championships 800m silver medalist Alfred Yego expressed disappointment at the sluggish pace of work at the stadium.

“It could not have taken three years to renovate the stadium if all the resources were readily available. In fact, if it were complete, the celebrations ought have been held there,” he said.

He called for transparency and persistence in Athletics Kenya, the only body that could expedite completion of the works at the stadium.

“They should work to bring the stadium to international standards for use as a training facility by athletes,” Yego said.

He urged athletes to put their minds together and seek the best way forward in deciding the stadium’s future.

Janet Jepkosgei Busienei , World 800m gold medalist at the 2002 Junior Championships in Jamaica, expressed similar sentiments arguing that athletes were forced to train far away at Kapsabet and Iten in the neighbouring Nandi and Elgeyo/Marakwet counties respectively.

“There is nothing to celebrate because we have witnessed very minimal progress on the field. They must consider the input of athletes to Eldoret in the form of heavy investment and thus feel obliged to give back to the fraternity by offering exceptional facilities,” she said.

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