Kirwa: Diamond League races litmus test for athletes


Athletics - Diamond League - Shanghai - Shanghai Stadium, Shanghai, China - May 12, 2018 Kenya's Timothy ...
Athletics - Diamond League - Shanghai - Shanghai Stadium, Shanghai, China - May 12, 2018 Kenya's Timothy Cheruiyot celebrates winning the men's 1500m REUTERS/Aly Song

In Summary

  • National athletics head coach Julius Kirwa has said the upcoming Diamond League season will help coaches gauge the level of fitness of athletes after coronavirus disrupted the athletics calendar
  • The athletics season is expected to resume in three weeks’ time at the Monaco Diamond League, four months later as the first meet was earlier scheduled for April 17 in Doha, Qatar before the unprecedented spread of the virus

National athletics head coach Julius Kirwa has said the upcoming Diamond League season will help coaches gauge the level of fitness of athletes after coronavirus disrupted the athletics calendar.

The athletics season is expected to resume in three weeks’ time at the Monaco Diamond League, four months later as the first meet was earlier scheduled for April 17 in Doha, Qatar before the unprecedented spread of the virus.

Due to the measure and protocols issued to curb the spread of the virus, athletes were not spared either as athletics camps across the country were shut down thus leading to athletes training individually without direct contact with their coaches.

According to Kirwa, the first meet will therefore give a glimpse of what to expect as the new season unfolds.

“Our athletes have suffered a lot since the start of the pandemic and I am happy that at last they will be able to compete once again. Remember that they have been training individually and we will be monitoring closely those athletes who will be competing in the Diamond League so that we can assess how they will fare,” Kirwa told Citizen Digital.

Kirwa is however not worried. “Our athletes are very hard working and even if they are training individually, they know what they are required of.”

With major competitions planned for this year postponed to 2021 including the Olympic Games, the veteran tactician said they have to develop a delicate balancing act as they prepare athletes for the events.

Other events moved to 2021 include both the Africa Cross Country Championships and Africa Senior Athletics Championships while the World Cross Country Championships is also primed for next year.

“I am not actually worried about that since we still have a lot of time until 2021 and together with other coaches, we will assess how our athletes will be responding when normalcy resumes,” said Kirwa.

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Story By Gilbert Kiprotich
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