NAIROBI, Kenya, July 17- Kenyan runners Peter Kirui and Josphat Bett hope that doubts over Olympic double champion Mo Farah from the Commonwealth Games will boost their chances of landing gold in Glasgow when the games start on July 23 to August 3.
Track and field competition starts on July 27, but Bett and Kirui are itching to get their medals for the first time after a long period.
“It is not that I wish Farah to miss the Games. It becomes better when you win against a strong competition. But I have been out for sometime now and I believe it will be good to make my return with a win,” he said.
“I have done well in training and Farah is just like any other athlete and he is beatable. I will not discuss his case, but let see how we fair on the track,” said Kirui.
Both Kirui and Bett will be making their second shot at the international championships representing Kenya at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games next week.
Kirui, last featured in the Kenya team at the Daegu (South Korea) World Championships over the 10,000m while Bett last show was a junior in Poland back in 2008, when he won gold in the longest distance on track.
Both faded off the stage and have emerged with resolve to redeem their career and the Commonwealth Games offers both a platform to achieve just that.
“I think we have been away. Personally, I have tried on several occasions since I was a junior. But I was never lucky. Now I have my chance,” said Bett.
The duo will team up with Charles Cheruiyot over the 10,000m distance and the likely absence of the England international has boosted morale in the team.
Farah said he is just getting back into training after staying out with abdomen pain. He declined to confirm if he will be fit for the Commonwealth Games.
Gideon Chirchir, Kenya’s head coach, however pointed out that he is preparing his squad for the big test without focusing on any individual athlete.
“They have to realize that competing at the Commonwealth Games is not by chance. They merit to be in this team and everyone is looking upon them to deliver the results,” Chirchir said.
“But we will not be focusing on Mo Farah alone. He is a good athlete, but the net must be cast wider. Surprises are not inevitable and it is important that Kenya prepare for the 10,000m distance, knowing that Farah will be running too. It is in their country and he has to be there,” he added.
Kenya athletes returned to training after the government agreed to pay them their bonus and the coaches have signed with relief, saying they can now concentrate on the job at hand.
The team had sat out on Tuesday from training to force the government to pay them 1.2 million U.S. dollars for the games.