Kenya go overseas to solve 10,000m riddle
Distance-running powerhouse Kenya is taking the unusual step of holding its Olympic trials for the men's 10,000m in the United States in a bid to end a 44-year gold medal drought at the London Games.india Updated: Apr 17, 2012 00:03 IST
Distance-running powerhouse Kenya is taking the unusual step of holding its Olympic trials for the men's 10,000m in the United States in a bid to end a 44-year gold medal drought at the London Games.
Fifteen athletes are being sent nearly 15,000 km to Eugene, Oregon to compete in one-off trials to select just three runners for London.
It is not that the East Africa nation hasn't been producing good enough long distance runners: Kenya has had six medallists in the race since 1984, with Micah Kogo taking the bronze in Beijing four years ago.
But the country has not been able to secure that elusive gold, as other countries, most notably neighbours, Ethiopia, have taken the centre stage in the last 20 years. Kenya has such talent in depth that no fewer than 46 athletes have attained the 10,000m Olympic qualifying standard yet only 30 will take part in a mini-trial on Tuesday, from which 15 will be selected for the final trials in Eugene in June.
Federation chairman Isaiah Kiplagat said that 44 years is long enough without a gold medal and unless they took a new approach, it would take even longer..
"We are keen to turn around our fortunes in London. That is why we are taking this team to Eugene. It is known that training at high altitude and competing at low altitude like in Oregon and London will give our runners the advantage," he said.