The relation between Athletics Kenya, AK and National Olympics Committee of Kenya, NOCK has been far from rosy. This was recently brought to fore when the two parties openly differed over the pre-Olympics camp in Bristol and the travel date for the Athletics team to London.
Barely a day after settling on the travel date for the bulk of the runners, AK Chairman Isaiah Kiplagat in a thinly veiled attack on NOCK, criticized the Olympic movement in the country, on their treatment and handling of athletes .
Speaking at Riadha House on Tuesday when he received the team that competed at the World junior championships in Barcelona, Spain, Kiplagat claimed NOCK had failed to take care of the elite athletes and were only looking to ‘reap where they didn’t sow.’
“In other countries, elite athletes is the responsibilty of the NOCs but here in Kenya they are celebrated and the NOC reaps where they didn’t sow. There should be some form of reciprocation by those that take them to the Olympics,” Kiplagat said.
He continued: ‘The NOCs wants to fight people and don’t know how we got them (athletes) there. We don’t want sideshows. When we cook for you, eat well and eat quietly.”
“Let the teams be managed properly. Let’s be honest and be quiet. Issues were spilling out of control before we went to Kasarani,” he added in reference to Monday’s meeting chaired by the Sports Secretary that resolved that the athletes would be free to choose their preferred dates of travels to London with majority, settling for July 30.
The head of the athletics body claimed they are on the way to making AK self-sustainable and less reliant and corporate support.
“As we are working to professionalize AK, we want to be given the chance to do it. We are working on modalities to make ourselves self-sustainable in the next five years.”
The discontentment no doubt, overshadowing the reception in honour of the juniors whose 13-medal haul that included four gold ranked them second behind the USA in the overall standings.
“As runners you must plan your running and run as a team this probably cost us the 10000m title,” noted Kiplagat of the race that the Kenyan pair of Geoffrey Kipkorir Kirui and Philemon Kipchilis Cheboi paced, before Ethiopia’s Yigrem Demelash outpaced them with three laps to go for the gold.
“As Kenyans don’t play tricks on your fellow athletes but on other runners.”
Faith Chepngetich(1500m), Mercy Chebwogen(3000M), Daisy Jepkemei(3000m SC)and Conseslus Kipruto(3000m SC men) were the four gold medalists from Barcelona.
The World Youth and Junior champion is now looking to London to wind up her impressive season, after her dominating 4:04.96 win in the juniors.
“It will be a tough race as I will be racing in my first senior event but am not scared. I will give it my best and am sure we can win the gold in London.”
She will team up with World 3000m indoor champion Hellen Obiri and African Silver medalist Eunice Sum in London.
Kipruto winner of the steeplechase in a championship record of 8:08.91 proceeded to Monaco for the Samsung diamond league race.
AK gave cash tokens to the gold medalist of ksh.30 000, Silver winners got Ksh.15 000 while the bronze holders took home Ksh.10 0000.
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