Leonard Komon returned home from Puerto Rico on Tuesday night and pleaded with Athletics Kenya to reinstate him back to the world championship team, which is in residential training in Embu.
Komon said his trip was sanctioned by head coach David Leting and Athletics Kenya secretary general David Okeyo and he therefore doesn’t understand why he has been excluded from the 24 member team for the global event to be held Punta Umbria, Spain on March 20.
“After the trials Okeyo who took me to coach Leting and both agreed to allow me to travel. They knew I had signed a contract with the race organisers which I had to honour,” said Komon.
Last Saturday, AK treasurer Joseph Kinyua, who is also the team’s head of delegation, said AK resolved to dismiss Komon from the team on the grounds that he defied the federation order to compete abroad without clearance.
“You cannot run a 10km road race on tarmac and again want to run for Kenya in cross country. I do not know who sanctioned him to travel, but we cannot allow that. Otherwise we will be setting as a bad precedence for the future,” he said.
Komon was replaced by Japan based Paul Tanui.
At the same time, five times cross country champion Paul Tergat has added his voice to the issue saying Komon axing was unjust, done without consideration of the sacrifice he put in to prepare.
“I ran that race (in Puerto Rico) many times in my career and came back to compete in cross country, it never affected me. What is 10km race?” posed Komon.