Kenyan coaches now have every reason to smile and train their athletes well since coaches of medal-winning athletes will for the first time ever receive medals at this year’s IAAF World Championships in London.
“The medals, gifted to successful athletes once they return from their ceremony, will be for them to hand to their coach or significant advisor in recognition of the unique and valued working relationship between athlete and coach,” the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and Local Organising Committee of the London World Championships said in a statement Wednesday.
“The possibility of creating a coaching medal was investigated by UK Athletics who form the LOC for the championships, and a request made of the IAAF who have given the gesture their support.
“The coaches’ medal will be based upon similar themes to the athlete medals but will differ in design, with both set to be unveiled in May.”
The IAAF World Championships will take place at the London Stadium from August 4 to 13.
The move was well received by top Kenyan coaches.
Bernard Ouma, who handles world 1,500 metres silver medallist Elijah Manangoi, along with Olympic 5,000 metres silver medallist Hellen Obiri’s coach Isaac Macharia expressed their pleasure at the decision along with world javelin champion Julius Yego’s coach Joseph Mosonik and Patrick Sang – who handles Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge.
“That will be great that, at last, people will realise that we exist,” said Ouma.
“Many people have been claiming credit to athletes we produce but this is the right move that will help recognise the work we are doing,” said Macharia, who also handles Olympic 800m bronze medallist Margaret Nyairera and 2012 Olympic 800m bronze medallist Timothy Kitum.
Mosonik said the move was a great idea since coaches with athletes taking part in technical events like javelin strive a lot.
“We use inferior equipment to have these athletes succeed,” said Mosonik.
“The coach-athlete relationship is so special and important so it is fantastic that, at the World Championships in London, coaches are set to be recognised for the efforts they put in to getting an athlete onto the podium,” said Olympic long jump finalist Jazmin Sawyers, who was part of the creative panel that fed into the medal design process.
“It is great that organisers are leading the way with this form of recognition.”
“As an athlete, standing on the podium is a very special and proud moment. You are not just representing yourself but everyone who has helped you get to that point. There are lots of people who you would love to have with you on the podium but it just isn’t possible, so it is fantastic for them to be recognised with a medal in London.”