Nock off target
Former 1,500m star Ngeny faults officials over poor results
FORMER 1,500m Olympic champion Noah Ngeny is blaming the National Olympic Committtee of Kenya over the poor results so far posted at the London Olympic Games. Speaking from Eldoret yesterday, Ngeny noted the team in London is the same as that which took part in the world championships in Daegu last year and they are the best the country has at the moment.
However, Ngeny feels sNOC-K officials and coaches have not played their inspirational role to the highest level to psyche-up the runners to succeed. The former star is dismissing the notion there could be a possible go slow within the team, saying no professional athlete can take such a stand, knowing the importance an Olympic gold medal brings. “These are all professional athletes. They know the fame and glory which comes with an Olympic title. No one can agree to a go slow,” he said.
He said athletes need to be in an “athletics environment” while in London but they are finding themselves surrounded by people who know next to nothing about running. He said NOCK needed to have travelled with at least 10 former Olympians to advise the athletes on the way forward. He said the way the athletes are running leaves no doubt they lack guidance.
The athlete who brought down world record holder Hicham El Guerrouj at the 2000 Sydney Olympics said: “thletes at that level need people who can psyche them up and not individuals who don’t even know their names. “ I wont be surprised that some of these officials do not even know who they are managing. For an athlete to succeed he needs to be in sync with the officials and be able to bond with them,” he noted.
“Some of the mistakes we are seeing from here would have been rectified if former Olympians were on board. The problem is athletes make mistakes in the semis and repeat them in the final, yet no one cares to advise them,” said Ngeny, also a former world 1,500m silver medallist. He said experience has taught him that an athlete needs to take races seriously whether he or she is running in the first round, semis or final. “If you allow an athlete to beat you in the first round, he or she will do it in the semis and the final too,” Ngeny has come to learn.
He said the fact that some athletes were injured and nobody attended to them goes a long way into explaining the erratic management the country has for the Olympic team.] He says the current NOCK officials have failed and it is time they paved way for people who can take the sport to the next level.