Apparently, the Kenyan Federation is getting internal criticism on it’s announcement that the Nike Pre Classic 5,000m and 10,000m will be part of their Trials program for determining the teams for Kenya for the 5,000m and 10,000m. At the Nike Pre, the top three Kenyans in the 5,000m and 10,000m would represent Kenya in London for the 2012 Olympics. The rest of the team, rest of the events, would be part of the trials in Kenya.
In the following piece, done by Reuters and posted on UK Eurosport, Paul Tergat and Martin Keino, both prominent former Kenyan athletes, express some concerns.
The Kenyan Federation is trying to find a way to get the best Kenyan athletes to represent them at Olympics. There was less than joyful response to the men’s 5,000m and 10,000m results from Daegu, where Kenyan men did not medal in either event.
Kenya criticised over US trial plans
Former athletes have criticised
Kenya’s plans to select part of the east African country’s team for this
year’s Olympics at races in the United States, arguing there was no
need to break with the tradition of using national trials for all
Last week, Athletics Kenya chairman Isaiah Kiplagat said that
five male and female runners would take part in each of the 5,000 and
10,000 metres races at the Diamond League meeting in Eugene, Oregon in
The top three finishers in each race would make the Olympic team
with Kiplagat saying he wanted the runners to be selected at the lower
altitude races before going on to train at a higher altitude prior to
the London Games.
The remainder of the team will be selected at trials in Nairobi in June.
“We want to select a strong team for the Olympics because we have
not won a (gold) medal in these two events (since 1988). We have
therefore decided to take as many as 20 athletes to Oregon, where we
shall pick the best runners,” Kiplagat said.
Five-time world cross country champion and former marathon world
record holder Paul Tergat said the trials should be held in Kenya as
they always had been in the past.
“Kenya is a sovereign state and it makes little sense to conduct
part of an Olympic trials outside the country,” Tergat, who won two
10,000m Olympic silver medals, said.
“We have always done our trials and selected winning teams here. I
don’t understand why we have to take our trials to America.”
Another leading former athlete, Martin Keino, said the trials were the biggest local event in an Olympic year.
“It is unique in the sense that it is the convergence of as many as
20 of the world’s top distance athletes fighting for just three spots
through a rigorous system of selection,” said Keino, son of Kenyan
athletics pioneer Kipchoge ‘Kip’ Keino.
“The men’s 5,000m and 10,000m races are generally some of the most
exciting races at an Olympic trials here in Kenya. Not to hold these
events in such important trials is to deny thousands of fans their only
opportunity to watch their stars in person before the Games,” he said.
Keino said the higher altitude in Kenya would benefit the runners more than the lower one in Oregon.
“As a former athlete who participated in several trials, the
pressure cooker environment, high altitude and the toughest competition
in the world made for the best preparation for any championship to
follow,” he said.
For more from Reuters, please click on Reuters.com
For more on UK Eurosports, please click on http//uk.eurosport.yahoo.com
Leave a Reply