Korir denies claims pace making for wife cost him Rio medal

Wesley Korir pictured after winning the 2012 Boston Marathon. PHOTO/IAAF
(FILE)Wesley Korir pictured after winning the 2012 Boston Marathon. PHOTO/IAAF

Olympian and 2012 Boston Marathon champion, Wesley Korir has dismissed claims contained in the Rio 2016 Olympics Probe Committee report he did not adhere to team regulations when he went to run as a ‘pace setter’ for his wife at the Ottawa Marathon.

Speaking to Citizen Digital, the Cherangany Member of Parliament who did not finish the Olympics marathon on his Team Kenya debut said the allegations are meant to water down his efforts as one of the main whistle-blowers of the Rio 2016 scandal that led to the Probe Committee to be appointed in the first place.

“I cannot comment on something they are using against me for blowing the whistle on the scandals and mistreatment of Team Kenya. My wife and I had a dream to make it for the Olympics Games and I went to support her. What goes on with my family is nobody’s business and should not be used against me.

“If my coach (Richard) Metto, thought I would not make it, I would have been dropped from the team and one of the reserves would taken my place,” Korir who finished fourth at the 2016 Boston Marathon charged when contacted.

Metto who was the coach of the marathon team for the Olympics confirmed that the outspoken legislator who ruffled feathers among National Olympics Committee-Kenya (Nock) and Ministry of Sports, Arts and Culture at the Summer Games had asked for permission to travel to Canada.

He added at the time, each Team Kenya marathoner was training individually.

“Korir played the role of pace maker for 41km out of 42km, which was equivalent to running a full marathon. With only a few weeks to the Olympics, the athlete could not recover enough to run the marathon in Rio, considering the distance he had covered and the long travel in between. He dropped out of the Rio Olympic race citing a “water mix-up” problem along the course,” the report claimed.

The Probe Committee also established that the Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret was not ready to host the Olympics Trials which were held a month before the Games started.

The findings said that the stadium had no proper warm up track where by the athletes had to warm up by the roadside.

“The stadium has no field events facilities like high jump landing foam. This led to the event being cancelled altogether. The stadium has 10 washrooms and during the trials, they were not only inadequate for an approximately 30,000 crowd but had no water and were dirty.

“The main vehicle parking area was too close to the Athletes’ Call Room and was thus an interference. The stadium has no emergency evacuation gate for use by ambulances. The steeplechase water area has no drainage and hence it is hard to change the water once it is dirty.The above areas will need immediate improvement,” the report added.

After Korir and 2015 New York Marathon champion Stanley Biwott dropped out of the race, teammate Eliud Kipchoge went on to run 2:08:44 to win Kenya’s second men Olympics marathon gold following the exploits of the late Samuel Wanjiru Kamau who ran an event record of 2:06:32 to win the Beijing 2008 edition.

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Story By Charity Wanja
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