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January 17, 2019

AK in dilemma

Ferguson Rotich and David Rudisha compete during the 2015 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Beijing 2015 AK in dilemma /COURTESY
Ferguson Rotich and David Rudisha compete during the 2015 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Beijing 2015 AK in dilemma /COURTESY
Athletics Kenya are in dilemma on which 800m athlete to drop from the Team Kenya to the 2017 World Championships, days before the final entry list submissions.
Five two-lappers are currently training at Team Kenya’s residential camp including world record holder and Olympic champion David Rudisha, Diamond League holder Ferguson Rotich, former world youth silver medallist Kipyego Bett, Emmanuel Korir and Michael Saruni.
Rudisha, who sat out of the national trials and Rotich, who finished fourth at the event, qualify for the championships through IAAF wild cards by virtue of being the defending champion and Diamond League trophy winner respectively.
Bett, Korir, and Saruni made the team by finishing in the top three as per the AK selection criteria rules.
However, Kenya can only field four athletes at the championships as per the IAAF rules and it will be interesting to see whom the axe will fall on.
AK president Jackson Tuwei said the final line-up will be named next week, when the final entries are made, just days before the team begin their journey to London on August 1.
Meanwhile, national athletics team have relocated their residential training camp to the Moi International Sports Centre as preparation for the August 4-13 world show gather pace.
The team has been training at the Nyayo Stadium while residing at the Strand Hotel in Nairobi West.
However, coach Julius Kirwa said the middle and distance runners will not wholly depend on the newly-laid tartan track but will be alternating it with Nyayo Stadium.
“A new tartan can be deceiving during training and we will therefore be alternating it with Nyayo Stadium,” said Kirwa. The new facilities could be beneficial to the sprinters though, since they will be on track most of the time while the middle and long distance runners will also be doing long runs in Karura and Ngong’ Forests.”
Kirwa revealed that the team is feeling under pressure to retain their ‘top of the world’ status but was optimistic the team will perform well.
“There is always the pressure to replicate a good performance following a successful outing in Beijing two years ago,” said Kirwa. “We are all working hard and we are in agreement that we need to pull together to ensure that we don’t succumb to the pressure.”
He observed that they are not leaving anything to chance as they seek to put the athletes in good shape both physically and psychologically.”
We want to polish on all areas of our competition and hope that this works in our favour come next month,” he added.
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