•Double world indoor 800m champion Collins Kipruto says the new Covid-19 measures requiring athletes to train individually will negatively affect their preparations for local and international events.
•Kipruto, who is currently hard at work in Nyahururu, revealed he has had to adapt his training regime to the present circumstances.
•He revealed that he tested positive for Covid-19 just before competing in the 800m men's race at the Corpenicus Cup Championships in Torun, Poland
Double world indoor 800m champion Collins Kipruto says the new Covid-19 measures requiring athletes to train individually will negatively affect their preparations for local and international events.
Kipruto said training in a group prepares athletes psychologically and provides them with a hint of what to expect in a competitive setting.
"We usually prefer training together because we can motivate one another and push ourselves to give the best. By training in a group, you are able to gauge your level of fitness and performance vis-a-vis your training partners. You are also able to fine tune your tactics in readiness for the competition," Kipruto said.
Kipruto, who is currently hard at work in Nyahururu, revealed he has had to adapt his training regime due to the present circumstances.
"The positive thing about the current situation is that the camp has not been closed down so we are able to continue training. There are not many of us in Nyahururu, which makes it easier for us to adhere to the measures. I am in good shape and mentally ready for the upcoming competitions. I hope these new restrictions won't last long so we can get some competition under our belts," he said.
On Sunday, Athletics Kenya postponed all upcoming athletics events in the country and directed all athletes to train individually rather than in groups to maintain physical distancing.
This was after President Uhuru Kenyatta suspended all sports activities countrywide as part of new, tough restrictions to mitigate the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite the side-effects of these measures on athletes, Kipruto urged his fellow athletes to persevere and religiously adhere to the regulations, citing himself as evidence that the virus is real.
"During the Corpenicus Cup Championships in Torun, Poland, I tested positive for the virus. My results came when I was on the start line and as soon as I finished, I was taken to isolation for 16 hours. Another test the next day came negative before I was allowed to join my fellow athletes who were already at Warsaw Airport waiting for their flight ," Kipruto said.
In the championships held on February 17, Kipruto timed 1:46.61 to finish eighth in the men's 800m race. He had earlier finished first in 1:46.83 in the same race at the CMCM Meeting in Luxembourg.
Kipruto is targeting a place in Team Kenya's contingent to World Relay Championships on May 1-2 in Selesia, Poland and the Tokyo Olympics.
"I am happy that in the races I have so far run, I have clocked my season's best. Even though the weather in Europe has been quite harsh, I have given my best performance. I am still hoping to participate in more events before the Olympics. Fortunately, Kenya is not in a total lockdown and we can still travel abroad for these competitions," he said.