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Kenyan athletes urged to participate in local races

SPORTS By Shadrack Andenga | August 31st 2017

Athletics Kenya president, retired general Jackson Tuwei has called upon Kenyan elite runners to participate more in local races before setting foot abroad.

Speaking in Nairobi on Tuesday morning during the launch of the Ndakaini half marathon at the federation’s headquarters, Tuwei was adamant that Kenya would have taken first position at the just concluded 2017 World Athletics Championships in London, Great Britain.

“Our runners need to challenge themselves more locally before setting foot abroad. I know most athletes are attracted to higher remuneration in foreign countries but as a country we should also focus on the idea of gradual development. Local races are a good precedent for athletes, in fact, most of our gold medalists over the years have sharpened out locally,” Tuwei advised.

Before the 2017 world athletics championships, Kenya team lost its star players including world 800 meters record holder in 2012 Olympics David Rudisha, 400 meters Nicholas Bett and Africa’s golden boy, javelin star Julius Yego all to injuries a week before the event in London.

“All we need now is to set up the necessary athletics infrastructure in terms of equipment and all the required facilities. Without our key athletes we still managed second position. This shows that Kenya has great potential and it is up to us now to start nurturing these raw talents from tender ages. That is why now we have plans to start partnering with primary schools all the way up to secondary schools and work with different coaches,” added the optimistic Tuwei.

Kenya took second place at the 2017 world athletics championships in London Great Britain coming after the United States of America (USA). Tuwei however still believes that with more local races on the Athletics Kenya calendar, upcoming athletes have the opportunity to showcase their talent. This according to him is what will make Kenya better because, he says it’s tougher here than abroad.

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