Team Kenya finally arrived in Daegu after a tortuous journey that saw them make a four-hour bus trip from the capital Seoul’s Incheon Airport to the event’s athletes village.
The eagerly-awaited team landed at Incheon Airport at 6 pm local time (midday Kenyan time) on a Qatar Airlines flight from Doha and drove to Daegu on two buses, arriving shortly after 10.30pm.
Officials of the Kenyan Embassy were on hand to receive the tired athletes and officials and showed them into and around the impressive Athletes’ Village, with volunteers and other participants and officials craning their necks in an attempt to catch a glimpse of Kenya’s 800m world record holder David Rudisha, the reigning World Athlete of the Year, who is very much the talk of town here.
Gunning for post
Most of Athletics Kenya officials, led by chairman Isaiah Kiplagat, secretary general David Okeyo, assistant secretary Ibrahim Hussein and treasurer Joseph Kinyua had arrived here much earlier to attend the IAAF Congress and Wednesday’s elections of the world track and field governing body.
Kiplagat is gunning for an IAAF vice-president’s post while Okeyo wants to head the IAAF’s cross country committee. Hussein, along with other AK officials Mary Chege and Joseph Ochieng are targeting election into various IAAF committees.
“We are happy with the facilities here,” Kinyua said. “The athletes’ rooms are spacious and the four-lane training track is very impressive. Not even the athletes’ villages at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and the 2008 Beijing Olympics can match these standards.
“Besides, the people here are very friendly and very helpful and they always remember the fact that Daegu won the bid to host these championships during the IAAF Congress in Mombasa (during the 2007 IAAF World Cross Country Championships.”
Several teams had arrived here before Team Kenya landed yesterday, including the USA, Jamaica, Bahrain and Jordan.
Some teams had gone into training camps around South Korea ahead of their trips to Daegu, among them the Usain Bolt-led Jamaican team.
The Kenya team to the World Championships here has: Men - Vincent Kiplagat Kosgei (400m and 400m hurdles), David Rudisha, Jackson Kivuva (400m relay and 800m), Alfred Kirwa Yego (800m), Silas Kiplagat, Asbel Kiprop, Daniel Kipchirchir Komen (1,500m), Isaiah Kiplagat, Thomas Longosiwa, Eliud Kipchoge (5,000m), Brimin Kipruto, Richard Matelong, Abraham Chirchir, Ezekiel Kemboi (3,000m steeplechase), Peter Kirui, Paul Tanui, Martin Irungu (10,000m), Eliud Kiptanui, Abel Kirui, Vincent Kipruto, Benjamin Kiptoo Kolum, David Barmasai Tumo (marathon), David Kimutai, (20km Walk), Anderson Mureta, Mark Mutai, Vincent Mumo, Julius Kirwa, Jonathan Kibet (4x400m).Women: Janet Jepkosgei, Eunice Sum, Jerono Koech (800m), Nancy Lagat, Viola Kibiwott, Hellen Obiri, (1,500m), Milcah Chemos, Lydiah Rotich, Mercy Njoroge (3,000m Sc), Sylvia Kibet, Linet Masai (5,000m and 10,000m), Mercy Cherono, Vivian Cheruiyot (5,000m and 10,000m), Sally Kipyego, Priscah Jepleting, (10,000m). Edna Kiplagat, Irene Jerotich, Sharon Cherop, Prisca Jeptoo, Caroline Rotich (Marathon), Grace Wanjiru (20km walk).