Kenya should build on bronze medal at the World Relays -Mwaniki


Eunice Kadogo (L) hands over a baton to Millicent Ndoro during their morning training session ...
Eunice Kadogo (L) hands over a baton to Millicent Ndoro during their morning training session for 4x200m race at Nyayo stadium in Nairobi on May 07, 2019. The Kenya team will fly the national flag at the IAAF World Relay Championships set for Yokohama, Japan, on May 11-12. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha

In Summary

  • Against traditional sprints powerhouses, Kenya defied the odds to clinch a bronze medal in the 4x400m mixed relay clocking 3:19.43 behind USA and Canada respectively.
  • It is the quartet of Jared Momanyi, Maureen Thomas, Hellen Syombua and captain Aron Koech that made sure Kenya made it to the podium in the two-day event and Mwaniki could not be pleased more.

Head coach Stephen Mwaniki has said that Kenya’s journey to greatness in sprints is achievable if they build on the bronze medal earned in the 4x400m mixed relay in the just concluded World Relays held in Yokohama, Japan.

Against traditional sprints powerhouses, Kenya defied the odds to clinch a bronze medal in the 4x400m mixed relay clocking 3:19.43 behind USA and Canada respectively.

It is the quartet of Jared Momanyi, Maureen Thomas, Hellen Syombua and captain Aron Koech who made sure of Kenya’s podium place in the two-day event and Mwaniki is pleased by the development.

“I can say that we got it right because making it to three finals and winning a bronze in a World Championship is not a mere achievement,” Mwaniki said.

Prior to the championships, the newly introduced 2x2x400m race was touted as a race that Kenyans would easily sweep since it essentially entails covering a distance of 800m albeit in two phases (400m twice) thus the idea of giving athletes – Collins Kipruto and Eglay Nalianya – who are 800m specialists were given the nod.

The duo’s results were disqualified after Nalianya was adjudged to have stepped out of the track.

The men’s 4x200m that comprised of Mark Otieno, Mike Mokamba, Samuel Chege and Alphas Kishoiyan came close to a podium finish, taking fourth position after USA, South Africa and Germany.

In the women’s race things did not work out for Kenya due to poor baton exchange making them not to finish the race.

According to Mwaniki, a seasoned Kenya Prisons tactician, energy has to be focused on the technical aspects of the race.

“We need to work on synchronizing the baton exchange which is very important in this event. The speed is not important, it is how you exchange the baton that matters,” emphasized Mwaniki.

Kenya finished 13th with 11 points as sprints giants USA took the honours.

This year’s event was the first to be held outside Bahamas since its inception with Nassau hosting the 2014, 2015 and 2017 editions before pulling out of this year’s event as the government cited financial constraints.

After hosting a successful event in Yokohoma, Japan’s capital Tokyo is now bracing to host another global event- the Olympic Games slated for 2020, July 24-August 9.

 

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Story By Gilbert Kiprotich
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