Athletics coach blasts Kenyans for 'disrespecting' Eliud Kipchoge

ATHLETICS Athletics coach blasts Kenyans for 'disrespecting' Eliud Kipchoge

Joel Omotto 07:37 - 15.10.2023

Veteran athletics coach Stephen Mwaniki has hit out at Kenyans for lacking respect for marathon great Eliud Kipchoge following recent social media discussions

Veteran athletics coach Stephen Mwaniki has expressed his displeasure at Kenyans for lacking respect for marathon legend Eliud Kipchoge by trying to create a rift between him and world marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum.

Kipchoge has been the subject of discussion among Kenyans on social media for failing to publicly congratulate Kiptum after he broke his world record by running 2:00:35 at the Chicago Marathon last Sunday.

The discussion centered around what a section of Kenyans termed a lack of sportsmanship from Kipchoge for failing to recognise his compatriot’s achievements but Mwaniki feels the criticism is uncalled for and disrespectful.

“There is a wedge that has been drawn by social media, first we have to respect Kipchoge, he has done a lot for this country and now when people talk about congratulating Kiptum, it is like trying to create some kind of rivalry,” Mwaniki told Pulse Sports.

Mwaniki believes the rivalry being created is not good for Kenya, especially heading to the Paris 2024 Olympics, where both runners have expressed a desire to represent the country.

At the Olympics, both Kipchoge and Kiptum will need to run as a team but the experienced tactician does not think that will be possible if both head to Paris on bad terms.

“Given a day when Eliud is ready and in shape, he has all the experience. He can deliver the medal,” said Mwaniki on Kipchoge’s chances of winning a third straight Olympics gold in the presence of Kiptum.

“Though age is not on his side, but he can still do it. What we need to do as Kenyans is to bring them together not drive a wedge between them.

“It means what Kipchoge has been doing all along for all these 10 years is useless. He has put us on the world map, we are up there because of him and even convincing youngsters like Kiptum it can be done if you are disciplined and ready to work hard.”

Kipchoge broke his own world record of 2:01:39 when he run 2:01:09 in Berlin last year before Kiptum lowered it to 2:00:35 last week.