Not my fault
Athletics team coach Kirwa says he is not to blame over poor Olympics show
Kenya’s Athletics head coach to the just concluded Olympics Julius Kirwa has absolved himself from blame after a disastrous campaign in London. Kirwa said under the circumstances they were working under, the coaches did their best. Team Kenya Chief executive Stephen Soi pointed an accusing finger at the coaches for Kenya’s dismal show in London where the country bagged 11 medals,. 2 gold , 4 silver , 5 bronze medals to finish 28th in the medal standings a far cry from their 13th position achieved at the last games in Beijing where Kenya bagged six gold.
Kirwa said competition was stiff and the gap between the rest of the world and Kenya has narrowed. He suggested the team needs to go back to the drawing board. “The competition is becoming tougher and we must go back to the drawing board to come up with new strategies,” Kirwa said.
Kirwa said the rain began to beat on the Kenya team when the Bristol camp was mooted by NOCK and it affected the team in the course of the team training and camping at Kasarani. “I believe our problems began with this idea of going to Bristol. The athletes were not happy with the idea and it played a part in destabilising the athletes preparations in the course of training, leading all the way to the Games in London,” Kirwa added.
He said the National Olympic Committee of Kenya and Athletics Kenya must work together as a team and avoid the wrangles that bedevilled the team in London. “These two bodies must work together because there were issues that happened in the course of the Games which I will not disclose,” Kirwa said.
Kirwa said in previous championships AK chairman Isaiah Kiplagat would visit the camp and motivate the athletes but this time he was denied entry and we felt let down by NOCK on this issue,” Kirwa said. On injured athletes who took part in the Games, Kirwa said world champion Asbel Kiprop suffered a hip injury in the 1,500m heats. “We took him for a muscle scan but he thought he would recover before the semifinals. In the semis it became worse.” added Kirwa
Kirwa insisted that Kiprop wanted to run despite the injury. Kirwa also noted that Wilson Kiprop aggravated a knee injury at the Games. Kirwa however, congratulated Bedan Karoki for his fourth place finish in the men’s 10,000m. “I must congratulate our 10,000m runners for a job well done. We fought hard and Karoki can only get better with time,” he said.
In the women’s 800m Kirwa said Pamela Jelimo kicked too early “We had sat down with Jelimo and told her to kick from the 200 meter mark when finishing the race but she opted to run from the 350m and was overtaken by Maria Savinova and three others,” he added