Kenya: Silesia Success Bodes Well for Future of Kenyan Sprinters

Compared to the Kenyan team which competed at the 2019 World Relay Championships in Yokohama, Japan, those who have just arrived from this year's edition in Silesia, Poland had to contend with a lot of challenges.

These complications are all attributable to the coronavirus pandemic, which has largely brought life to a halt for many Kenyans, including sports persons.

In the last one year that the virus has wreaked havoc, many athletes were unable to train effectively due to financial hardships and the need for social distancing.

Indeed, during the 1st leg of the Athletics Kenya Relay Series in January this year, it was clear the participants were rusty after a long period of inactivity due to scarcity of competitive events.

The four-leg series was to sharpen the sprinters into shape and speed before conducting trials to select the best of the best to represent Kenya in Poland.

Just when the plan was on its homestretch, the third wave of the coronavirus struck forcing another indefinite suspension of sports activities countrywide.

Impossible

With the trials now impossible, AK had to select the team from among the sprinters who had been training in a bubble at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

That the team managed to surpass the achievements of their predecessors under these strenuous circumstances deserves a pat on the back and a red-carpet reception as witnessed on Tuesday.

Two silver and one bronze is enough cause for celebration considering sprints have been our Achilles' heel for a while.

I am convinced it is only a matter of when, not if, Kenya will clinch her first gold medal in the relays in the 21st century.

However, this requires all stakeholders to build up on the achievements of Yokohama and Silesia by investing in these races.

Our success in Silesia should motivate each and every aspiring sprinter -- from Busia to Mombasa and Turkana to Voi -- that they can follow in the footsteps of Mark Otieno and Co. or even surpass their achievements at the highest levels.

To the athletes who did duty in Poland, there's no time to rest as the Senior Africa Athletics Championships are set to kick off next month in Algiers, Algeria.

Tokyo beckons

Excel at the championships and there might be a chance for you to pit yourself against Usain Bolt et al in Tokyo.

Silesia was just a tip of the iceberg; the plan is to now extend our roots deep into sprints and establish Kenya as another land of sprinters.

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