Monday, August 12, 2013

Kenya team buoyant ahead of World Athletic Championships

The 44-strong Kenya team left here Monday for World Athletic Championships in Moscow in a buoyant mood in spite of missing some of its star names.There will be no David Rudisha, Vivian Cheruiyot or any big name in its marathon squad as the country seek to improve on its medal haul beyond the Daegu, South Korea mark of 17 - seven gold, six silver and four bronze - the best for the country in the competition history.Lanky coach Sammy Rono, a former Kenya Defence Forces officer, understands better what lies ahead as he emerges from his armoury with his soldiers ready to battle at the 14 edition of the World Championships, which starts on Aug 10 and ends on Aug.18."After weeks of preparation, I have the confidence to say, the team will be ready from Saturday. We have done our part here, the coordination has been good, the team work aspect has been instilled and I believe we have what it takes to strike gold in Moscow," said Rono.Of course with no direct flights to Moscow from Nairobi, the team will take the longer route to Dubai, for a night over, before making the remainder of the journey and are expected in the Russian Capital later on Tuesday."The absence of some of the key runners from the team should not be viewed as a weakness. Everyone in the Kenya team is a champion in his own right. They deserve to be in the team, they have earned it and the world better be prepared for a shocker."His sentiments resonate as far as the first event. Many are finding it hard how, the team will weather the storm in the middle and long distance events, the pillar of the country dominance in the sport.Wholesale Lingerie Sexy LingerieBut many a fan, have not spent time with the runners, their criticism based mainly on past records and times set this season.Statistics never lie, but the ultimate test will be on the track. It is a dream team captain Julius Yego will be holding on to dearly as he debuts at the Worlds. The London Olympics javelin finalist is optimistic the Kenya will triumph. 

"I have no experience about the World Championships. It is my first engagement, and I do not want to disappoint. It gives me a chance to showcase my talent,cheap men's tshirt wholesale but above all the role it brings along as the team captain of Kenya puts me under pressure to excel. As the first man from the field events to captain the national team, I do pray that we perform well to leave a legacy,kadifashion" said Yego.The World Championships in Moscow will run from Aug. 10-18 and is set to be the biggest ever. With the deadline for the final entries now closed, no fewer than 206 IAAF Member federations have confirmed their participation.The previous highest number of nations present at an IAAF World Championships was 200 at both Seville 1999 and Berlin 2009.With a total of 1974 athletes having been entered (1106 men and 868 women), the record of participants is also on course to be broken as the previously most attended championships in terms of athletes was Berlin 2009 with 1895.Wholesale Coat cheap CoatKenya men's marathon team of Bernard Koech, Peter Some, Bernard Kipyego, Michael Kipyego and Nicholas Kemboi have been left behind to continue with their training in Iten. They will join their teammates on Tuesday.Already, Athletics Kenya President Isaiah Kiplagat and vice president David Okeyo, who holds various positions with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), are in Moscow to prepare for the team and attend other commitments with the global track and field body.The United States and Russia edged out Kenya in Daegu two years ago. But the 17 medal haul - seven gold, six silver, four bronze stands as the best collection for the country to date.In Osaka back in 2007, Kenya had five gold, three silver and five bronze while four years ago in Berlin, the country had 11 medals - four gold, five silver and two bronze. But questions keep on lingering on whether the 49-member squad will keep Kenyan fans' dream alive.Ethiopia's Olympic champions Tirunesh Dibaba and Meseret Defar have confirmed they will double in 5,000m and 10,000m and Rono says this might in the end play to the Kenya team advantage."It is not good for them to double. The pressure will be too much and they will crack. Even Cheruiyot felt it though she pulled it off in Daegu. Will they be able to repeat that feat? I don't know, but it will be a huge task," said Rono. 

Former head coach Julius Kirwa however said critics should hold their horses at least until the first race is done in Moscow."We always have a team that is good enough to win at the World Championships. It will always be difficult irrespective on who is the coach or the athletes in question," he said."All they need is to remain focused to the course and be determined. The teams has many athletes yet to make a mark globally plus a few experienced one, they will surprise many."With no Rudisha, Kenya will parade Olympian Anthony Chemut, Ferguson Rotich and former World Youth 400m hurdles silver medalist Jeremiah shox shoesIn 5,000m, Cheruiyot absence will give grounds to Mercy Cherono to blossom and so will Gladys Cherono and Emily Chebet.In marathon, Edna Kiplagat will be eyeing to pull of a second gold after Daegu. But she has a young team to cushion her from the aggressors, a challenge she is keen to take in her strides, literally.Billy Konchella, the former world 800m champion, said it a 50-50 chance for Kenya to do well."Kenya will do well in 800 meters. It will be challenging and tricky but I expect that we will win at least two medals," said Konchella.

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