Athletics Kenya Demands Pamela Jelimo go to Pre Olympic Camp, NOW, by Bob Ramsak, Notes by Larry Eder


If you think that Athletics Kenya is going to let one medal chance get away from them this summer, then you are sadly mistaken. Lots of web grumbles by Kenyans, fans of Kenyan athletics on why Kenyans can win every road race in site yet get blasted in World Champs or Olympics. Well the Federation is not letting that happen in Pamela Jelimo's case, the young women who destroyed th World Junior Record at 800 meters with her 1:55.76 WJR at FBK Hengelo last weekend.

Read Bob Ramsak's column and decide for yourself!



By Bob Ramsak
(c) 2008 TRACK PROFILE Report, all rights reserved

BERLIN – After her stunning breakout performance at the FBK Games in Hengelo last Saturday, Pamela Jelimo can be forgiven for getting just a little bit ahead of herself.

Moments after her brilliant 1:55.76 run, a world junior record and the fastest 800m in the world in five years, the 19-year-old told reporters that her next outing would come at Sunday's AF Golden League opener in Berlin.

But as Kenyan media are reporting, Athletics Kenya, the country’s governing body, may have other ideas. Aiming to keep their latest star fresh for the Olympic Games, the federation apparently hasn’t granted permission for her to compete, requesting instead that she report to a pre-Olympic training camp post haste.

The world will have to wait just a little bit longer for another glimpse of the fleet-footed super teen, whose feat on Saturday landed her in the No. 20 spot all-time in just her first race on the international circuit.

That was unbelievable!” said Ellen van Langen, the 1992 Olympic 800m champion and a leading organizer of the Hengelo meet, after Jelimo can within a stride of the 1:55.54 which brought the Dutchwoman gold in Atlanta. “Just amazing.”

It was the first outing for Jelimo after taking gold at the African Championships, where she clocked an impressive 1:58.70 in the altitude of Addis Ababa in what was, by many accounts, only her second outing over the distance.

Jelimo spoke calmly and matter-of-factly after her race, simply explaining how the change in altitude between the Ethiopian capital and Hengelo venues impacted her performance, as if it wasn't a particularly big deal.

“In Ethiopia where it was very high I ran 1:58, but here where it is lower, I knew I could run much better, which is what I did.”

Better in fact, than the world’s current No. 1 in the event, Kenyan Janeth Jepkosgei, who set the previous Kenyan record of 1:56.04 at last summer’s world championships.

Jelimo said she looked up to Jepkosgei as an idol. Both are from Kapsabet in Kenya’s Rift Valley, and train together. Despite one-upping her idol, Jelimo insists there is no rivalry.

“I don’t see any problem because if were from the same place, and train together, then it is ok.”

Before her victory at the African Championships trials in Nairobi on April 19, where she clocked 2:01.02, Jelimo was a sprinter with modest credentials by world standards. She won the African junior 400m title in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, last year, with a personal best 54.93, and clocked a clocked a national junior record of 24.68 in the 200m.

The explanation for moving up in distance was just as straightforward.

“Last year I was sprinting in the 400 meters, but after many struggles in training, I managed to improve my times.”

As was her prediction for her next race, whenever and wherever it may come.

“I was very happy with the race,” she said in Hengelo, “and I think I will do much better than I’ve done today.”

In the meantime, Jepkosgei will be the clear favorite at Sunday’s DBK-ISTAF meet in Berlin where she’ll kick off her chase for a slice of the $1 million AF Golden League Jackpot in her 2008 debut. The field also includes Australian Tamsyn Lewis, the reigning world indoor champion; Jamaican national record holder Kenia Sinclair; Russian, an Osaka finalists Svetlana Klyuka of Russia and Brigita Langerholc of Slovenia; and Ukrainian Tetyana Petlyuk, the world indoor silver medallist.


----- -----------------------------------------

The TRACK PROFILE REPORT is a news and feature service published by the Track Profile News Service. In addition to regularly dispatched news, profile and interview features, subscribers also receive exclusive on-site updates from major national and international competitions, usually within 24 hours. Copyright (c) 2008 by Bob Ramsak and TRACK PROFILE. All rights reserved. Reproduction, republication, reposting and retransmission in ANY form is strictly prohibited without express permission from the editor. Small portions may be reproduced ONLY if accompanied by source citation and *ADVANCE* notice in writing to Track Profile. Please contact the editor at [email protected] for reprint permission. [ Visit for more. ]
----- -----------------------------------------

The TRACK PROFILE Report is sponsored in part by Shooting Star Media, Inc., publisher of American Track & Field, Athletes Only and Coaching Athletics Quarterly, among their seven print publications and six websites, is a proud member of the Running Network, LLC, which represents 34 of the finest regional and national athletics and running publications in North America. American Track & Field [ ] is a professional magazine geared to coaches, athletes and enthusiasts of track & field, race walking, road racing and cross country running. Links to all Shooting Star Media publications can be found on its website at .

------ -----------------------------------------

Individual subscriptions: USD 50/EUR 45/year. To make payment arrangements, send an email to [email protected] or you can pay by credit card via PayPal at [ ]. Likewise, direct all comments, suggestions, questions, and corrections via email to [email protected] . More info at .

Leave a comment

Wake up to RunBlogRun's news in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletter and we'll keep you informed about the Sport you love.

Subscribe to RunBlogRun's Global News Feed

* indicates required