CHANGE TACK

Former 10,000m world record holder Sigei tips Olympic team

Sigei said there is a need for athletes to train hard and work as a team during the competition to achieve their targets

In Summary

•The two-time cross country champion advised the current runners in 10,000 and 5,000m to be wary of their opponents from neighbouring Uganda and Ethiopia who are now a nightmare to deal with. 

•He urged AK to select the team based on merit and ban the wild cards.

Former World 10,000m record holder William Sigei
Former World 10,000m record holder William Sigei
Image: KIPLANGAT KIRUI

Former World 10,000m record holder William Sigei wants Athletics Kenya to be more innovative if they are to reclaim the lost glory in men's 10,000m and 5, 000m.

While saying that much needs to be done to reclaim the lost glory in the two events, Sigei said there is a need for athletes to train hard and work as a team during the competition to achieve their targets. 

“We are happy AK have conducted the trials and selected the team that will hoist our flag in the games. However, we need to ensure the selection method is above board,” said Sigei who spoke to the Star in his Kelonget home in Bomet county. 

He added that the team should go into the Olympic Games with the spirit of teamwork and not for individual gain as has been the case in the past.

" Championships are not for self-centred individuals but for patriotic fellows who are keen to hoist the country's flag high," he added, 

Sigei said: “This is a global event, where the country comes first and that is how it should be. Kenya is known globally as an athletics powerhouse and we must maintain that by ensuring we win medals." 

The two-time cross country champion advised the current runners in 10,000 and 5,000m to be wary of their opponents from neighbouring Uganda and Ethiopia who are now a nightmare to deal with. 

“During our time, we had one mission of ensuring we were in the medal bracket. That helped us to focus on winning and even breaking the world records. We need to inject fresh ideas on how to tackle them because they have been studying us for a long time,” said Sigei.

He urged AK to select the team based on merit and ban the wild cards.

He said things were changing and we can not continue to base our selection on past glory. " A lot of young talent is coming up and they deserve a chance whenever they perform," he added.

Sigei is best remembered for setting the world 10,000 record of 26:52.23 minutes in Oslo, Norway in 1994. He is ranked 37 in the all-time list over the distance.

The Kenyan team in 10,000 metres comprise youngsters Daniel Mateiko, Nicholas Kipkorir and Benard Serem.

They are likely to face  Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda and the Ethiopian trio of Berihu Aregawi, Selemon Barega and Yomif Kajelcha.