Did someone sleep on the job?
That was the question when a dejected Mike Mokamba Nyang’au arrived from the World Junior Championships on Tuesday.
Mokamba did not compete in his 200 metres speciality in Barcelona after he and team mate Dunkan Nkaru were disqualified when Kenya officials entered the duo’s hand times instead of electronic as per the requirement by International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF).
Athletics Kenya secretary-general David Okeyo however said they are yet to find out the reason for the anomaly.
“We are yet to find out what really happened, since the rest of the times were electronic,” said Okeyo. “The team management ought to have informed the 200m athletes about the times.”
But Eliud Wambua, the team manager, claimed Okeyo did not inform him that the 200m time was hand-timed and had also not entered the team alongside the 4x400m in Barcelona.
“I wasn’t informed at that level,” said Wambua.
Mokamba lamented: “No one had the courage to tell me what really happened.
“I really don’t know how someone could present hand times when they knew very well our qualifications were electronic,” the sprinter fumed. “I had trained very well but my time as a junior has gone with the wind.”
Mokamba, who had hoped to celebrate his 18th birthday on August 28 with a WJC victory, won the national trials on June 8-9 with a time of 20.9 seconds, beating the 21.55 mark. Nkaru (21.4) also qualified in second place.
When his appeal failed Mokamba turned to the 100m where he finished third in his heat in 10.75, failing to make the semi-finals.
“It feels awful, especially if it’s someone’s mistake that jolts your ambitions. I believe this was my son’s time for glory, keeping in mind that Kenya rarely have sprinters at that high stage,” his mother, Selina Moenga, said.
Mokamba, the son of former Kenyan Olympian Elkana Nyang’au, finished second to Anderson Mureta in last year’s All Africa Games trials in a personal best 21.38 but the then form four student at Terige was locked out for being under-age.