The Star (Nairobi)

15 January 2014

Kenya: AK Seek Coach

Athletics Kenya (AK) president Isaiah Kiplagat has revealed they are in the process of hiring a foreign coach to prepare Team Kenya for the first World Relays set for May 24-25 in Bahamas.

Kiplagat said they have already contacted Britain, United States, China and Japan over the matter. He said Britain have already responded with regrets, indicating that all their coaches have committments.

"We do not have experienced technical coaches for such an event and we believe securing one from abroad will help us form a formidable team," said Kiplagat.

"The world relays provides Kenya with an opportunity to stake their claim in the relays and we are optimistic that we can win 50 percent of the medals especially in the 4x800m and the 4x1500m races."

Other races on the cards are the 4x100m and the 4x400m. However, Kiplagat said they are going to enter teams in all the events. He despite having no chance of winning the shorter distances, the event will benefit runners in terms of exposure.

"We are looking forward to securing this coach any time. Actually, if we had him like yesterday, the better," Kiplagat said.

Meanwhile, Kiplagat revealed they are working closely with all their affiliates to ensure they select the best team ever for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. The games are set for Glasgow, Scotland between July 23 and August 3.

"We want to ensure we have a team that can surpass the performances of yesteryears and I can tell you we have so many prospects for the medal haul," said Kiplagat.

However, he rued the fact that most elite athletes do not fancy taking part in the Commonwealth Games as they consider it a low key event.

"We are persuading these athletes to use the games as part of their preparations for their preferred events including the world championships and the Olympics," said Kiplagat.

"I think Commonwealth is a great morale boaster as it gives the athletes the inspiration when it comes to other events including the World Championships and the Olympic Games.

Meanwhile, world 3,000m silver medalist Consesulus Kipruto has accepted scholarship offer at the University of Eldoret.

Speaking over the phone from Belgium, Kipruto said he will this week visit the institution to find out when he can kick off his studies.

"I am very happy that I got an opportunity to study here at home and I will arrive this week from Belgium and head to the University for more information," Kipruto said.

The offer was given by the University's Vice Chancellor Prof. Teresa Akenga in June last year when she met with athletic coaches and officials from Central Rift region.

Athletes and coaches at the meeting had requested the university to offer scholarships to local athletes to further their education rather than seek the same in overseas institutions.

Kipruto, who schooled at Kapchorwa Primary and Kosirai Secondary where his star was moulded, said the offer was a turning point in his life.

"I had plans to further my education and since I have been offered a scholarship here at home, I am very grateful. I am sure education will make me and my sporting career better," said Kipruto.

He said he is currently focusing on the World Indoor Games and Africa Championships but he is yet to make a decision on whether he will feature in the Commonwealth Games in August in Glasgow.

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