Thursday, June 5, 2014

Rudisha eyes automatic ticket to Commonwealth Games

David Rudisha celebrates after winning the men's 800m final at the IAAF Diamond League meet in Doha, Qatar on May 10, 2013. PHOTO | AL-WATAN DOHA | KARIM JAAFAR | FILE

David Rudisha celebrates after winning the men's 800m final at the IAAF Diamond League meet in Doha, Qatar on May 10, 2013. PHOTO | AL-WATAN DOHA | KARIM JAAFAR | FILE  AFP

By XINHUA
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Olympic men's 800-meter champion David Rudisha has petitioned Athletics Kenya (AK) to offer him direct ticket to the Commonwealth Games, which runs from July 23-August 3 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Rudisha will miss the Kenyan trials this weekend, but wants AK to offer him an automatic slot in the Kenya team to the Club Games.

His coach Bro Colm O'Connell confirmed Wednesday Rudisha will not be breaking his training camp in New York to return home for the trials.

"He competed in Eugene and we felt that he needs at least two weeks of rest given he has recovered from injury. We decided that he remains in the U.S. preparing for New York Diamond League meeting on June 14 because coming back for trials, then back to New York will burn him out," O'Connell told reporters in Eldoret.

The move will put Kenya's track and field governing body AK in direct confrontation with other managers and athletes, as all the athletes are being forced to compete in the trial.

"I have won almost every medal, but the Commonwealth Games is the only one that is missing in my collection. I want to compete in Glasgow, but that will be dependent on AK offering me a chance."

The world record holder (1:40.90) is put his camp in the United States after returning to competition at the Eugene Diamond Logue meeting on May 31.

AK Chairman Isaiah Kiplagat on Tuesday issued an order to bar several athletes from competing in Rome (Thursday, June 5) and Oslo, Norway on June 11, to avoid them "getting burn out".

Though Rudisha was not among the elite runners asked to return home, his request will arouse mixed reaction on how the federation treats its athletes and managers.

Two-time world 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop, world 800m champion Eunice Sum and former world junior 1,500m silver medalist James Magut are among an armada of elite runners entered in the Rome Golden Gala.

AK also banned injured Milcah Chemos, silver medallist Lydia Chepkurui, former world junior champion Purity Cherotich and Collins Cheboi from the two events, in spite of they having signed contracts with the organizers.

Chemos agent Barnabas Korir said AK has lost its plot and is punishing athletes for the wrong reasons.

"When these athletes get injured, where does AK come in; how do they help them recover; do they pay their medical bills and other requirements. It is the agents who work with these athletes and they know when they are about to burnouts and when not to enter them in races," he said.

Kiplagat said only the athletes at the trials will be considered for wild card after the usual one-two across the line in respective distances.

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