Kenya hopes for World Relays redemption in London

NASSAU, BAHAMAS - APRIL 23: Clayton Murphy of the USA finishes ahead of Ferguson Cheruiyot Rotich ...
NASSAU, BAHAMAS - APRIL 23: Clayton Murphy of the USA finishes ahead of Ferguson Cheruiyot Rotich of Kenya in the Men's 4x800 Metres Relay Final during the IAAF/BTC World Relays Bahamas 2017 at Thomas Robinson Stadium on April 23, 2017 in Nassau, Bahamas. Patrick Smith/Getty Images for IAAF/AFP

Members of the returning Team Kenya for the IAAF World Relays in Nassau turned their guns on the August Championships in London where they will seek redemption after a dismal display at the Bahamian capital.

Kenya’s hopes of sending a men’s 4x400m team to the World Championships came crumbling as they failed to reach the finals during the two-day competition.

The team that boasted two-time 400m African silver medalist Alphas Kishoyan – tasked with the responsibility of leading compatriots Bonface Mweresa, Geoffrey Kiprotich, Daisy Komen and Betty Chelangat in the mixed relay category also failed to deliver.

Kenyans best performance coming in the men’s 4x800m race but both men and women teams struggled with the latter finishing last.

Despite the results, Mweresa maintained the team gave their all but ultimately fell short.

“We are done with the relays and so focus will definitely shift elsewhere. With the London championships around the corner am resuming my training to increase my chances of selection.

“Although we did not do that well you see we managed to run and make the mixed relay finals. I think that is the best we would have performed as a team,” Mweresa said.

He refused to blame the effect of jet-lag was the major reason they failed to impress.

Team Manager Bill Kosgei lauded the athletes for their efforts saying there was notable improvement in their performance this year.

“We did well because we have moved a ladder up compared to what we did in 2014.Look at the splints, for me we did our best,” he said.

He however insisted the men and women teams must learn from their mistakes should they rank among the world’s best sprinters.

“In the middle distance that is the 800m we have no problems. But down here 4x400m as well as the 4x200m I think there was some improvement. In the future I know we will do better if we work on our weaknesses,” he underscored.

Kosgei admitted their late arrival in Bahamas was a concern and urged the Ministry of Sports and Culture to avert a repeat of it in the future.

“Of course it’s a negative thing to arrive late. We had only 24 hours to prepare which is not healthy. It causes a lot of problems to the players but at the end of the day it’s something we can’t term as the main reason we did not do that well,” he stated.

Kenya’s 4x800m relay team finished second in 7:13.70, behind USA’s quartet of Brannon Kidder, Erik Sowinski, Casimir Loxsom and Clayton Murphy who ran a winning 7min 13.16sec.

Poland were third in 7:18.74.

-Report by Mwangi Githinji.

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