Anti-doping team in Kigari for second day surprise visit

Wednesday March 15 2017

World steeplechase champion Hyvin Kiyeng, who is a member of the Kenya cross country team, takes photos during a game drive as the team broke from training to visit the Mwea National Reserve in Embu County on March 12, 2017. PHOTO | CHARLES WANYORO |

World steeplechase champion Hyvin Kiyeng, who is a member of the Kenya cross country team, takes photos during a game drive as the team broke from training to visit the Mwea National Reserve in Embu County on March 12, 2017. PHOTO | CHARLES WANYORO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By CHARLES WANYORO
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Kenya’s cross country team’s training was briefly delayed for a second day running on Wednesday after a team of IAAF anti-doping officials paid them an unscheduled visit at their Embu camp.

The 9.30am visit forced the team to adjourn their training for close to one hour to allow the anti-doping officials collect out-of-competition samples from two members of the squad.

The team soon after, led by head coach Juma Ndiwa, hit the road for long runs under temperatures of 31 degrees Celsius.

Ndiwa said he was excited by the improving form of some of the athletes who reported to the camp late. He cited new sensation Meshack Munguti who looked in prime condition.

“The training is okay for now and all the athletes are at the same level. Some had been struggling. Meshack is now bustling and has picked up quiet well. We assure Kenyans of a clean sweep. Ethiopians have no chance,” he said.

Rio Olympic Games 800 metres bronze medallist Margaret Nyairera said training together with the cross country team had conditioned her body well.

Nyairera is among the six athletes who are at the Kigari Teachers Training College camp fighting to make the final cut of four to take part in the newly-introduced mixed relays.

“My body is responding well to the training. Training with the cross country team is helping me improve.”

"I have shed some weight and I hope to make the cut for the final team to run the two kilometres.”

Fellow relay teammate Bernard Kipkorir expressed optimism at keeping at par with World 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop.

“He beat me by a few seconds during the trials and I am improving. The long runs are helping me to boost endurance,” said Kipkorir.

Ndiwa said the mixed race will be one of the exciting events due to its competitiveness especially from other countries.