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STYLE UP OR ELSE! Keino blasts Athletics Kenya over poor showing in World Relay championships

By Odero Charles | May 5th 2015
National Olympic Committee of Kenya President Kipchoge Keino and Gems Cambridge International School CEO when he commissioned the 400m tartan running track at the institution on 28-11-2014.PHOTO/DENNIS OKEYO

National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) Chairman Kipchoge Keino has blasted Athletics Kenya (AK) for failure in the second World Relay Championships in Bahamas, saying the team was let down by management.

Keino warned that, given the rate at which athletics standards are dwindling, athletics chiefs ought to reassess the way they conduct their business.

“It was a shame that our athletes do not even know how to exchange batons. Surely, how low can our (athletics) standards go?” he asked. “I was called by an American who was wondering why we don’t have the basics in athletics. All we want to concentrate on is long-distance running and road races because they are easier to handle. The world has changed and so has athletics,” he said.



A furious Keino, who is usually very calm, urged AK to get officials who understand athletics, who have run and know what it means to be an athlete.

“In future, we should have former athletes running that body. This is why Lord Sebastian Coe and Sergey Bubka want to run for IAAF presidency. They know and understand what is involved. It is not because of connection or personal friendship,” said Keino, a former two-time Olympic champion.

“AK must confront these issues head-on; first doping, which is running amok in our country, and management of the sport. These are crucial. I commend Isaiah Kiplagat for stepping aside and I wish him well in his ambition to become the next IAAF Vice President. But we should have former athletes running the show here,” he said.



Kiplagat named Jack Tuwei, hitherto vice president in charge of youth, to act as president of AK until the next election in 2017, something that has rubbed many AK affiliates the wrong way, with open rebellion being witnessed at last week’s Annual General Meeting.

“I feel bad as a former athlete, as a patriotic Kenyan and as a stakeholder of sports in this country. We need to hear what the public is saying. We cannot assume we know it all. Even at NOCK, we hear what our affiliates are telling us and act,” said the legendary Keino, who is also an honorary member of the International Olympic Committee.

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