BERLIN, August 13 – The 12th World Athletics Championships have not started yet but the mind games have already started.
Despite sharing a hotel, the teams have been studiously avoiding each other with officials mum on training grounds.
National athletics head coach Peter Mathu confirmed Thursday that they had not laid their eyes on their Ethiopian counterparts since arriving in the German capital on Tuesday.
“This is a hide and seek game. We are seeing the Ethiopians in the dining hall but we don’t know where they go to train. Right now we are not meeting them anywhere. We are waiting for them on the track, they work us out and we work them out.”
Mathu added that he is hopeful of a confident start at this year’s saying he was confident his charges will win medals on the opening day on Saturday.
“I hope that our 10,000m can do well and David Kimutai in walk then that will be fine. Anything within the medal bracket will be considered good.”
While Linet Masai has been very active, World Cross Country Champion Florence Kiplagat and Grace Momanyi have competed sparingly but Mathu is unmoved, “A lack of 10,000 metres meant that they have not run much as they should have but they are ready because of the training they have undertaken.
Mathu added that training has gone on well since the team’s arrival in Germany, “We have held four sessions and the facilities are very good. We thought this place would be hot but its just like Kenya.”
“The walker finished his workouts on Thursday afternoon. Today he was just doing grasswork 10,000 metres women have also done their bit,” said Mathu.
Despite them having little or no experience is competing at this level, the coach remains very optimistic of the sprinters performing well.
“When they qualified, we were sure that they are coming to though they are not exposed, with Mutai running 45 seconds and Joy running under 52 seconds anything might happen. They could surprise Kenyans,” he observed.