Top athletes question wisdom of Eldoret Olympics camp
Top athletes have raised questions on the wisdom of having the Rio 2016 residential training in Eldoret but the National Olympics Committee-Kenya (Nock) chairman, Dr. Kipchoge Keino, remains adamant there will be no shift in venue.
Nock has settled on the Dr. Kipchoge Keino High Performance Training Centre as being the base for track and field athletes, a proposal that has been slammed by a majority of those expected to lead the medal chase in Rio.
“I don’t know if this is going to work. We can only wait and see how the camp will work out but my biggest concern is the fact that there are no facilities for throws around and, sadly, no gym as well,” lamented the reigning world Javelin champion, Julius Yego.
Beijing 2008 Olympics and three-time world men 1500m champion, Asbel Kiprop, who is expected to be among the stars of the Olympics Trials on Thursday and Friday also expressed concern on the chosen venue for the selection event and the camp in Eldoret.
“My worry is with the expected attendance. There are a lot of athletes here I think over 5000 upcoming youth, their families, the community here is athletics-loving and expected guests. Will Kipchoge Keino sustain over 40000 fans?” part of his post on Facebook on the eve of the Trials read.
“Will the walls collapse? As we expect the best we must as well prepare for the worst. All members and fan’s let’s consider safety as we come to Kip-Keino Stadium because of the multitude,” he cautioned.
“Yes we can run the Trials in Eldoret but to train in altitude all the way isn’t that much favourable for short and middle distance. Remember Kasarani has two tracks. It reduces congestion with sprinters and middle and long distance athletes,” he earlier told Citizen Digital.
“Many athletes concentrate much on training when in Nairobi than when near families and friends in Eldoret,” he added.
“That we have no option to Trials being held in Eldoret, but the camping should be in Kasarani,” World Half Marathon titleholder, Geoffrey Kamworor who is gunning for the men 10000m Olympics title added.
“It will not be good for track athletes to be here since being home, there are many distractions from family and friends. They need to be focused,” stated two-time London Marathon champion and Rio 2016 favourite in the ultimate distance event, Eliud Kipchoge intoned.
Earlier, Athletics Kenya (AK) had indicated the athlete’s concerns would be addressed before the selected team reports to camp after the Eldoret Trials but on Wednesday, the Nock boss ruled out any changes to the plan.
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