NAIROBI, June 30 – Athletics Kenya (AK) has named four athletes who will represent the country in the 10,000 metres races at this year’s World Athletics Championships in Berlin.Sammy Kitwara, Gideon Ngatuny and Bernard Kipyego who finished in that order at last weekend’s National Athletics Championships will compete in the men’s race.
World junior record holder Linet Masai who won the national championships was the only woman selected for the 25 lap race.
AK has however extended an olive branch to Lineth Chepkirui who was second at the nationals provided she hits the qualifying mark.
“We have only selected Linet because she won the race last weekend but if Lineth can go to Europe and attain the qualifying mark, we shall give her chance,” said chairman Isaiah Kiplagat.
There was heartbreak for Phillies Ongori who finished third in the same race, “We however will not be taking a third woman because she way too behind the first two ladies.”
At the same time, the athletics governing body has raised concerns over the form of the country’s female Olympic gold medalists.
Kiplagat observed that Olympic 800 metres champion Pamela Jelimo and her 1500 metres counterpart Nancy Jebet Langat have performed way below the expected standards.
“I am worried about the form of our woman athletes who did so well in Beijing. They have not done well at all and what’s even puzzling is the fact that they have not even run that much,” he opined.
Consequently, 100 athletics have been selected for a training camp in Eldoret. Kiplagat said that they had decided to hold a camp for the probables as they dfid last year.
“We want to assess all our athletes and see what shape they are in. This is because the results so far have not been great and we need to start working together towards a good showing in Berlin,” he said.
He added that any athlete who fails to report to camp will face disciplinary action, “any athlete who does not abide by this will face disciplinary action. We will also hold his or her agent accountable because it is agents who at times misguide these athletes.”
Olympic champions Jelimo, Langat, Wilfred Bungei and Brimin Kipruto have been selected for the camp as have African champions David Rudisha, Haron Keitany and Richard Mateelong.
The camp will be headed by national coach Julius Kirwa who will be assisted by eight other coaches and two physios.