Athletics Athletics

I will leave without a fuss if axed, says Rotich

Shares

Ferguson Rotich (right) training at Kasarani Stadium with Kipyegon Bett (left). Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 27- Ferguson Rotich says he is ready to make way if Athletics Kenya (AK) decide to drop him from the Kenyan team for the IAAF London World Championships scheduled for August 4-13.

AK have barely four days to make a decision on the men’s 800m team to the World Championships, the big headache being who to drop between the two eligible wild cards; reigning World Champion and World Record holder David Rudisha or 2016 Diamond League winner Rotich.

According to IAAF rules, a defending world champion and a Diamond League winner from the preceding season each have a wild card, but only one of them can be named in the team if they are in the same discipline.

Ferguson Rotich leading Kipyegon Bett in training at Kasarani Stadium.Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

Rotich, speaking to Capital Sport has now said he is ready to drop off if AK makes the decision to keep faith in Rudisha who is eying a third world title.

“My wild card carries the same weight as the defending champion. But, the rule is that only one can go. For me, whoever will be chosen is okay. I am ready for the decision. If I am not named in the team, athletics will continue, it is not the end of my career. More competitions will come,” Rotich said after completing his Thursday workout at the Kasarani Stadium.

In their criteria to select the team for London, AK had announced the first three across the line at the National Trials will earn tickets, adding on to the wild card entries but probably with an oversight from the 800m scenario.

Emmanuel Korir, Kipyegon Bett and Michael Saruni finished in the top three positions during the trials, picking the automatic tickets while Rotich finished fourth as Rudisha opted out of the race.

Ferguson Rotich shows his ecstacy after winning the 800m semi-final race during the Kenyan Trials for the IAAF London World Athletics Championships at the Nyayo National Stadium on June 23, 2017. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

Rotich feels that AK should have made the decision way before the trials on which of the two wild cards would be picked to avoid the current unease.

All the five athletes are in camp and have been training, though Saruni had previously exited the camp as it had been said he would be axed. On Thursday, he did some light training on the side while Rotich and Bett blazed the track.

Rudisha also took it slow, choosing to do some light work.

Ferguson has however, said the uncertainty has affected his preparations and has urged AK to resolve the issue soon with only eight days left before the World Championships gun off in the British capital.

“As I said, life has to go on but it has affected my build up because there has been so much talk especially in the social media. If they had made it clear before the trials, I think we would have all gone down to fight. I am hoping the decision can be reached soon,” Rotich said.

World record holder David Rudisha was beaten after finishing third at the Rio Olympics Trials in a race won by former world junior champion Alfred Kipketer while Ferguson Rotich finished third.PHOTO/courtesy.

The same sentiments are also shared by Bett who will be making his first senior appearance in a global championship.

“For me, I can’t say I have been affected because I was second in the trials. But for the sake of the team, I think we need to make the decision quickly because the clock is ticking,” the 19-year old said.

Rudisha has also urged for a quick resolution, but his focus is solely on the World Championships, gunning to defend his crown and add on to the gold medal from Rio last year.

Shares

Comments