National athletics team head coach Sammy Rono is unfazed about the absence of elite runners to the World Championships next month in Moscow.
Rono said it will be tough but he expects the athletes selected over the weekend to still do the country proud in Moscow.
The team will be without double world champion Vivian Cheruiyot (5,000m and 10,000m), world silver medallist Sally Kipyego in the same race and World and Olympic 800m champion David Rudisha. However, Rono said with the new stars selected last weekend, the country can maintain its medal haul from the last World Championships in Daegu. “We have emerging stars including —Faith Chepngetich, Gladys Cherono and Conselus Kipruto—and we have nothing to be afraid of. We will do our best,” he said. Rono said having experienced athletes like the world 3,000m steeplechase champion Ezekiel Kemboi, former world 800m champion Janeth Jepkosgei and former Olympic 1,500m champion Nancy Lagat—will help to boost the morale of the first timers. “ I am confident all these athletes will be ready for the World Championhips early next month,” added Rono.
Rono said they have learnt lessons from last year’s debacle at the Olympic Games, where the country bagged a paltry two gold medal. He said the elite runners will only run one race before the Wold Championships to ensure they are in peak condition for the global event.
“Last year, some of our runners suffered burn-out but we are taking care of that this time round,” added Rono.