Runners look ahead of Olympics
Posted Wednesday, August 15 2012 at 20:35
Kenyan athletes on Wednesday reflected on their performance on arrival from the 2012 London Olympic Games and promised to come back refined and stronger.
Only three medallist from a pool of 11 jetted back Wednesday morning since most of them either stayed on in Europe for the Diamond League meetings or had returned home earlier.
Team Kenya deputy captain Pamela Jelimo, who lost the 800 metres title to Russia’s Mariya Savinova after finishing fourth, acknowledged making a grave mistake by kicking early.
“It was a small error but we are all human beings,” said Jelimo, the first Kenyan female Olympic champion. “It’s a big lesson and I should plan well in future.”
Head coach Julius Kirwa said he believed Jelimo would sprout from the ashes stronger.
He said they had planned for Janeth Jepkosgei to pace the first lap, which she did perfectly at 56 seconds, but instead of Jelimo coming in to kick with less than 250 metres left she attacked at the 350m mark.
“Those are some of the hard lessons that come up and we should learn from them,” said Kirwa.
Men’s marathon silver medallist Abel Kirui said their focus on Ethiopians Ayele Abshero, Getu Feleke and Dino Sir, whom they dropped early, might have cost them after they downplayed Stephen Kiprotich’s challenge.
The hitherto unheralded Ugandan won the race, ahead of Kirui and Wilson Kipsang.
Prisca Jeptoo, the shock marathon silver winner, asked Athletics Kenya (AK) to be selecting marathon teams early to give them time to recover from championship events.
“We had our tactics in place after we dropped the Ethiopians but I didn’t expect Kiprotich to beat us,” said Kirui. “I am yet to comprehend how he managed, even though he was strong.”
Kipsang said he sensed trouble when Kiprotich opted to stay behind, declining to pace-set.
He said: “I knew he was strong, having seen him train in Iten. We made some few miscalculations and they cost us a great deal.”
Kirui now wants to win a record third consecutive World marathon title: “God willing, I want to win in Moscow next year and also target the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.”
After a bronze on his Olympic debut, London Marathon champion Kipsang said: “I hope to make the team for the Worlds next year and wrest the title from Kirui.”
Saying she wants the World title after her Daegu bronze, Jeptoo said the Olympic marathon was her toughest ever: “I have never felt such great pain in the feet after the race but it was worth it.”