MONTE-CARLO, France, March 8 – The Kenyan contingent that arrived for the 14th World Indoors in Istanbul have more reason to aim for glory after governing body IAAF announced a Sh202m prize kitty for the event.
The event that kicks-off in Turkey on Friday will see all gold medallists receive $40,000 (Sh3.28) with silver and bronze winners receiving $20,000 (Sh1.64m) and $10,000 (Sh820,000).
In addition, IAAF announced the $50,000 (Sh4.1m) bonus for breaking a world record at the pristine closed circuit racing showpiece is still up for grabs after the usual ratification procedures.
Meanwhile, the nine-strong Kenyan contingent arrived in Turkey ready to deliver the country’s best ever performance at the biennial global indoor meet.
“They are already in Istanbul getting acclimatised ahead of the competition and we retain the belief they will outshine all other teams,” Athletics Kenya (AK) relations officer, Peter Angwenyi, told Capital Sport.
Olympics 800m women champion, Pamela Jelimo and the Worlds men 1,500m silver medallist and Commonwealth titleholder, Silas Kiplagat are fronting the Kenyan team peppered with experience and novelty.
Commonwealth 800m crown holder, Boaz Lalang, 2006 Commonwealth 5,000m champion, Augustine Choge, World Junior gold medallist and indoor record holder, Isaiah Kiplangat, World Youth silver winner and Commonwealth Youth Games champion, Timothy Kitum and new comer Bethwell Birgen complete the male line-up.
Two-time Worlds 5,000m silver medallist, Sylvia Kibet and Helen Obiri, the national 1,500m champion and Worlds finalist will join Jelimo in the corresponding women’s squad.
Nairobi AK chair, Barnabas Korir, is the team manager for the Istanbul squad and he sought to drum up expectations before the team departed for Turkey.
“We have never had such a strong line-up and this time, we are going there to make history for the country to motivate those preparing for the London Olympics to do their best,” Korir stated.
Olympics 800m champion, Wilfred Bungei, remains the only Kenyan to have won the top medal at the closed arena competition when he raced to gold in the 2006 edition in Moscow.
The last edition of the World Indoor Championships in Doha witnessed a World record in the Triple Jump courtesy of Frenchman Teddy Tamgho.
The 2012 indoor season has produced one World record, Yelena Isinbayeva’s 5.01m leap in the Pole Vault in Stockholm on February 23.
In Doha, Kenya returned home with two silver and two bronze medals with triple world champion, Vivian Cheruiyot and Lalang bringing the second medal in the women’s 3,000m and the men’s two-lap race.
Haron Keitany (men 1,500m) and Sammy Alex Mutahi (men 3,000m) won bronze as their nation finished in position 16.
1st US$40,000 (Sh3.28m)
2nd US$20,000 (Sh1.64m)
3rd US$10,000 (Sh820,000)
4th US$8000 (Sh656,000)
5th US$6000 (Sh492,000)
6th US$4000 (Sh328,000)
World record bonus