Athletics in need of boost

With the dust from the London World Championships settling, it’s time to take stock of Kenyan athletes’ performance.

We hope that Athletics Kenya, athletes and their managers have drawn in lessons from the drop in performance from the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, China.

In London, we took 11 medals: Five gold, two silver and four bronze to finish second behind the US with 30 medals; 10 gold, 11 silver and nine bronze.

Kenya topped the medal standings at the Beijing event, ahead of the US and Jamaica for the first time ever.

Once again, the performance in the men’s 10,000m and 5,000m was below par, with Kenyans failing to win the 10,000m for 16 years and the 5,000m for 12 years.


Paul Tanui won his third bronze in 10,000m.

It’s not the first time head coach Julius Kirwa  has sounded the warning that Kenya is losing its grip on the two races and in women’s 10,000m.

Hellen Obiri might have won the 5,000m, but the gap between her and the rest of the Kenyan pack is big.

Women’s 1,500m and 800m are also cause for worry with the Olympic and World 1,500m champion Faith Chepng’etich and Margaret Nyairera as lone rangers. 

Athletics Kenya needs to come out of its administrative cocoon and set up its own development centre to mould athletes.

The sport needs more from its partnership with the sponsors.

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