What you need to know:
- Kones said he has done a lot of practice on his final kick as part of his techniques to perform well.
- Last week, world and Olympics 3,000m steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto cancelled his participation in the Monaco Diamond League race after testing positive for Covid-19.
When the Wanda Diamond League races get underway on Friday, a few select athletes will be in action in Monaco after a long coronavirus break that has halted sports across the globe.
The competitors must adhere to strict guidelines and rules to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.
Athletes have either been training individually or in a group of not more than five in preparation for the Diamond League races.
Nation Sport caught up with Wilberforce Kones, a 3,000 metres steeplechase athlete in Kaptama, Mt Elgon, Bungoma County.
He is getting ready for an important assignment at the Brussels Diamond League race in Belgium that is scheduled for September 4.
Kones was to compete in the first leg of World Athletics Continental Tour Tuesday in Turku, Finland, before heading to Brussels. However, his plans went up in smoke because of the introduction of stringent coronavirus measures.
Kones said that he didn’t get as Schengen visa to travel to Finland.
“I followed the protocols laid down before travelling but I didn’t get the Schengen visa to go to Finland for the World Athletics Continental Tour. I had prepared well. I continued with my training after the trip failed,” he said.
Runners had high hopes of full athletics resuming, but they will have to wait longer for normalcy to return.
Last year, Kones paced for athletes who participated in the Doha, Rome, Paris and Brussels Diamond Leagues series, but this year he decided to compete for titles.
Previously, he trained in Ngong, Kajiado County, together with his National Police Service teammates, but had to go home after all camps were closed in March.
Mt Elgon is known for producing talented athletes, but the region, just like North and South Rift, has no facilities for athletes to train.
As a result, many of them either use playing grounds in nearby schools or they run along the roads.
Kones has been using Kibei Primary School field for his speed work training.
“It has been tough training at home and if I don’t use the track at Kibei Primary School, I normally join other athletes on the road because we don’t have a track for speed sessions,” said Kones, who is under the Anti-Stock Theft Unit in Gilgil.
Kones said the virus disorganised his plans as he was eyeing a place in the Kenyan team for the Olympic Games which were postponed to next year.
“I was looking forward to a good season and my target was to represent Kenya in the Olympic Games in the 3,000m steeplechase race. I wanted to use the Diamond League races as part of my build up but that was not to be,” said Kones, who is coached by Alex Sang.
He said that he is lucky to be among the few athletes who will be participating in the Diamond League races and he is looking forward to compete as he gauges his performance after a long break.
“Things have changed because we have a virus which has turned the world upside down.
I’ll be interested to see the organisation of the race. I’m happy I will be among the few invited athletes to compete. I will be using the race to gauge my performance ahead of next year,” he added.
Kones said he has done a lot of practice on his final kick as part of his techniques to perform well.
Last week, world and Olympics 3,000m steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto cancelled his participation in the Monaco Diamond League race after testing positive for Covid-19.