•The two-time world marathon champion said his greatest moment in career came when he won the Chicago marathon.
•He said the key to a long athletics career is to be selective when it comes to races.
Former Olympic marathon silver medallist Abel Kirui wants Athletics Kenya to provide athletes’ with medical cover to enable them cope with injuries in their careers.
The former Chicago marathon winner said careers of many athletes, especially the upcoming ones, have ended prematurely due to lack money for treatment.
“Young and upcoming athletes suffer most when they are injured because they lack funds to treat themselves. AK should introduce medical cover so that when we retire, we don’t become the laughing stock of everyone for running for so many years with nothing to show,” Kirui said.
Kirui counts himself lucky to have earned a sizeable amount of prize money throughout his 15-year career, which he has used to treat the various injuries he has incurred.
However, he dreads to imagine what would happen if he did not have enough money to cater for his medical expenses.
“You may not know but I have suffered various injuries in my career. I thank God I always come back and do what I can at all levels. If the federation had insurance cover, I would not suffer much,” Kirui added.
He said the key to a long athletics career is to be selective when it comes to races.
He said athletics is one step at a time. "Young athletes rush into road races search of big money only to end their careers prematurely. It is gradual and they should start from track, move slowly to small road races before heading into the marathon."
“My first outing in Europe was in 2005. Now it is about 15 years and I still have energy to run. I have ambitions to also feature at the Olympics Games in Tokyo," he said.
The two-time world marathon champion said his greatest moment in career came when he won the Chicago marathon.
“I hope you saw how I danced. I wanted to do something on the American soil. That was the greatest point in my career. That is a good history but the most valuable are world championship gold and Olympic silver medals,” Kirui said.