Vivian Cheruiyot goes AWOL

July 9, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, July 9 – World 5,000 metres silver medallist Vivian Cheruiyot is yet to report to the Olympics training camp at Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani.

Head coach Julius Kirwa said Wednesday that they had no knowledge of the whereabouts of the petite athlete.

“Vivian is yet to report to camp and we have no idea where she is. I think she had a slight problem health wise but we have left it to Athletics Kenya (AK) to handle her case,” he said.

Contacted for comment, AK Secretary General David Okeyo said they had not heard from Cheruiyot. She was included in the team despite finishing fourth in 5,000 metres race at the national trials held on July 5.

Former World Indoor champion Wilfred Bungei joined the camp on Wednesday morning while the remaining athletes were expected later in the day.

Meanwhile, nine athletes have been given permission by coaches to go and compete in grand prix races in the next week.

Kirwa told Capital Sport that they had allowed World Junior 800metres record holder Pamela Jelimo, World 800 metres Champion Janeth Jepkosgei, Olympic 3,000 metres steeplechase champion Ezekiel Kemboi, World Champion Brimin Kipruto, Boaz Lalang, World 800 metres champion Alfred Kirwa and Nancy Jebet Lagat, Sylvia Kibet and Vincent Mumo to compete in Europe.

“We have allowed them to go compete abroad so as to work on their speed because after trails, they won’t get another chance to compete here. We have allowed them to go for one race and others two but they will then come back,” said Kirwa.

He said that all athletes will be in camp on July 19.

Jelimo, Jepkosgei, Kirwa will all run at the Golden Gala meet in Rome this Friday as well as in Paris next week.

Nineteen year old Lalang will jet out on Wednesday night for Athens where he will compete in 800 metres. The soft spoken athlete is quietly confident of doing well.

“The hard part was to qualify for the Olympics. Now that I made the team, I will work hard and do well in Beijing,” he said.

Lalang added that he would love to line up against World 800 metres Indoor champion Abubaker Kaki at the DN Galan meet in Stockholm on July 22 where the Sudanese teenage sensation will attempt to break Noah Ngeny’s 1,000 metres record.

“I want to get one more chance of running against Kaki before the Olympics juts to study his race and tactic before Beijing,” said Lalang.


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