The long-distance races were once at the heart of Kenya but slowly, Ugandans, Moroccans, Eritreans, and Ethiopians are dominating the space with very few Kenyans who are slowly fading
Former World 800m champion Janeth Jepkosgei is wary of the dwindling fortunes of the long-distance runners in Kenya.
The long-distance races were once at the heart of Kenya but slowly, Ugandans, Moroccans, Eritreans, and Ethiopians are dominating the space with very few Kenyans who are slowly fading.
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For instance, the men’s 10,000m title at the World Championships has never made its way back to the country since the 2001 edition of the World Championships. In the men’s 5000m, the title was last won in Kenya during the 2005 edition of the global showpiece.
In the women’s category, reigning Boston Marathon champion Hellen Obiri worked hard to maintain the title in the country but unfortunately, Kenya lost it during the 2022 World Championships in Oregon. For the 10,000m, the title was last won in the country during the 2015 World Championships in Beijing.
“We have the right athletes, when I look at someone like Jacob Krop, I see the skills…he can run really well,” Jepkosgei told Pulse Sports in an exclusive interview.
She added that one thing that is letting down Kenya in the long-distance races is the lack of the right coaches.
“We need specialised coaches to work on such talent. I think it’s a matter of understanding the athlete and checking on their training because we have a lot of talented athletes.
It’s a matter for the coaches and the athletes to work together for a common goal. They need to figure out what the challenge is…is it the finishing kick or lapping.
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There are those techniques they need to master. We are not yet there but we shall get there soon and come back to our winning ways,” Jepkosgei said.