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We did not snub AK meet, says Kipsiele

Friday April 17 2009

By CHRIS MUSUMBA

World Indoor 3,000 metres and 1,500 metres silver medallists Paul Kipsiele Koech and Daniel Kipchirchir Komen have denied allegations that they snubbed local track competitions.

Athletics coaches this week urged for the introduction of a code of conduct to inject seriousness in participation of the New KCC/Athletics Kenya track and field meetings, arguing that the elite stars were not keen on the competitions.

Kipsiele, who was one of the three athletes accused for refusing to take part in the finals despite running in heats of one such weekend meeting a fortnight, instead accused the organisers of using poor barriers and water jumps to create the hurdles in his speciality 3,000 metres steeplechase.

He also noted that the track was too dusty for their liking.

“They brought in sacks of sand which was placed at the barriers and water poured on top of it. That is not what is expected, someone could easily be injured and that is why I opted out,” he said.

Athletics Kenya South Rift chairman John Wachira, under whose branch the meeting was hosted, conceded that they had to do with what was available as the Afraha Stadium had been run down after it was inhabited by the Internally Displaced people during the post election violence period.

“It is right for the athletes to complain. The track was not at all the best we wanted. We had to dig deep into our pockets to try and repair it. The government has dispatched Sh1 million for its repairs but the work had not began by the time we were hosting the meet,” he said.

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