What you need to know:
- Burnout cited as a threat to careers of Kenyan athletes
- AK boss urges young runners to pursue careers in track before going to road races
Young runners have been urged to pursue careers in track before graduating to road races and marathons to ensure longevity.
Speaking on Wednesday during National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) gala in Eldoret, Athletics Kenya President Jack Tuwei said unscrupulous agents and coaches were using the promise of quick money to lure young Kenyan athletes straight to marathon races, thereby exposing them to burnout at an early stage of their careers before they fizzle out.
“We have seen athletes rushing to compete in road races with the objective of making quick money but this should be discouraged because it is detrimental to the athlete. A good athlete should start competing in track events before graduating gradually to the road races,” Tuwei said on Wednesday during the NOC-K gala dinner hosted by Tusker at Eka Hotel in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County.
Tuwei also cautioned athletes against doping, saying use of banned substances was hurting Kenya’s good reputation.
“We will organise more anti-doping seminars in conjunction with Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (Adak) to sensitise athletes on the dangers of doping,” Tuwei said, adding that Kenya was determined to get out of Category ‘A’ of Athletes Integrity Unit that has countries where doping is most rampant.
He urged runners to prepare well for a busy season next year and revealed that the local cross country season will start next week in Machakos as the country prepares to host one event in the World Cross Country Tours in Eldoret in February.
NOC-K President Paul Tergat congratulated all athletes who represented Kenya in 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. He termed the games “one of the hardest ever.”
“I thank all the teams that competed at the Olympic Games. They trained for a longer period when the games were postponed by a year. Training alone was a big problem to athletes but we are happy they managed to perform well,” said Tergat.
East African Breweries Limited Head of Marketing (beer) Anne Joy Michira said the company will always be associated with Kenyan sportsmen and women who are brand ambassadors of the country.
“We have organised this (gala night)to appreciate the team that was in Tokyo for the Olympic Games because they made our country proud. We take sports seriously and we shall continue supporting our sports men and women,” said Michira.
Uasin Gishu County Governor Jackson Mandago promised to ensure facilities in the region are complete in good time for athletes to use.
Kenya’s first Olympics medallist Wilson Kiprugut was recognised while Kipchoge Keino was bestowed with the Lifetime Achievement in Service to Olympism in Kenya.
Kenyan gold medallists from Tokyo were rewarded with Sh900,000, silver medalist got Sh650,000 while bronze medallist took home Sh400,000.