National coach Sammy Rono is not worried over Kenya’s prospects at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow despite the withdrawal of Olympic and World 800m champion, David Rudisha (above).
Rono is confident that Africa silver medallist Anthony Chemut, upcoming star Ferguson Rotich and Jeremiah Mutai will deliver victory at the August 10 to 18 games.
Rudisha has pulled out of the championships due to a nagging knee injury.
“This is not Diamond League but a championship where athletes will have three races including the final to cover,” Rono said.
“These youngsters are out to prove that they can also produce quality just like Rudisha.”
Rono said Chemut has been picking at the right time, having won the national trials in one minute and 44.33 seconds.
“Rotich also looks strong after coming second (1:44.38) at the highly competitive trials.”
“And Mutai is simply amazing. He is a strong medal contender, having ran the second fastest time this season (1:43.90) in the country during the Kenya Police Service Championships in May.”
Mutai returned 1:44.49 to finish behind Chemut and Rotich during the national trials.
Athletics Kenya vice president in charge of administration, competitions and international affairs, David Okeyo, said Rudisha communicated on Monday expressing his inability to defend his title.
‘‘I regret that I will not be able to defend my 800m title at the World Championships next month in Moscow. My knee problem is progressing well but unfortunately not fast enough to enable me recover in time for the championships,” said the world record holder, Rudisha.
“I therefore take this opportunity to wish my colleagues success.’’
Rudisha, 24, was forced to withdraw from the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting on June 6 after an MRI scan revealed bruising of the bone and underlying ligaments on his knee.
The athlete, who bettered his own world record with a new time of 1: 40.91 with his explosive victory at the London Olympics, is currently getting treatment in Germany.
Rono and Okeyo said they expect a full house by today evening when athletes arrive for the official start of the camp at Kasarani.
Any athlete hoping to compete in any other event must be cleared by the team management
“No one will be allowed to compete again unless it’s a special case such as those with good points in the Diamond League,” said Rono.