6 March 2018

Kenya: Poor Show By Kenyans at World Indoor Raises Eyebrows

Birmingham — Kenya finished in position 24 out of 150 participating nations at the IAAF World Indoor Championships here, a result that has left many local coaches and fans baffled.

With just one medal -- a bronze from Bethwell Birgen in men's 3,000 metres -- Kenya trailed weaker athletics nations such as Burundi, Belgium and Estonia leading to calls for an inquest on the poor performance.

USA topped the medals table with 18 medals -- six gold, 10 silver and two bronze -- at the four-day championships.

There was guts but no glory for Winny Chebet as she finished fifth in the women's 1,500m final on Saturday while compatriot Beatrice Chepkoech, well known for missing the steeplechase water jump in the 2017 world outdoor championships, came in seventh.

The reaction at Team Kenya camp has been that of disbelief and anger.

Kenya is well known for middle and long distance running excellence.

One of the Kenyan officials here, who requested anonymity, was at a loss for words to describe the debacle.

"Last time we missed the gold medals because the athletes we entered were not so strong. But looking at this year's competition. We have no other major event after this apart from the Commonwealth Games," the official said.

Chebet accused some Kenyan athletes of complacency.


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