Kenya’s athletics head coach Julius Kirwa has called on Athletics Kenya to convene a coaches’ meeting to strategise ahead of the eventful 2017 season that has four world major championships.
Kirwa noted that Kenya may have topped the medals standing for the first time at the 2015 World Championships besides returning their best ever show from the 2016 Rio Olympics, but the country still fell short in many areas.
“We can’t continue sitting in a comfort zone assuming that everything is right,” said Kirwa.
“We can expect a one-man show and expect to win…we need to have a coaches’ session to discuss and plan ahead.”
Kirwa singled out both men and women’s 10,000 and 5,000 metres races for concern, saying that a lot was needed to come out with a winning formula.
He said there is a lot for the country to ponder with the exit of World 10,000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot, who has opted to move to road running after winning the Olympic 5,000m title and a 10,000m silver at the Rio Olympics.
“We also failed to have an athlete in men’s 5,000m final at the Rio Olympics Games,” noted Kirwa.
“There is potential and talent but we need to know how to harness this and encourage athletes hence coaches can do this.”
Kenya is yet to win the women’s 5,000m world title since Cheruiyot’s victories in 2009 Berlin and 2011 Daegu while retired Benjamin Limo is the last Kenyan to win men’s 5,000m world title at the 2005 Helsinki championships.
Charles Kamathi is the last Kenyan to have won the 10,000m world title at 2001 Edmonton edition with the only other best show coming from Geoffrey Kamworor with silver from the 2015 Worlds.
“These statics are an indication that we must act,” said Kirwa adding that it was a high time athletes were handled differently. “We need to talk to these athletes to know what they are going through and their needs.”
Kirwa said the Rio Olympic Games came with lots of lessons.
“It’s a long and busy season hence we shall need to pick out probable athletes in time and monitor and analyse their performances across the world,” said Kirwa.