Tanui misses flight to Oregon meet

Monday May 28 2012

Paul Tanui.

Paul Tanui. 

By ELIAS MAKORI [email protected] and AFP

Monday

Paul Tanui, one of the Kenyan 12 athletes expected for the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League trials, missed his flight.

The Japan-based Tanui had issues with his Japanese multiple-entry visa and his manager, Stephen Mayaka, said the athlete would leave Tokyo on Tuesday on a direct flight to Portland, Oregon.

“There was a hitch in his travel arrangements but that has been sorted out and he will make it in time to join the rest of the team,” said Mayaka on telephone from Japan on Monday.

Tanui was in Kenya’s team to last year’s World Championships in Athletics in Daegu where he finished ninth in the 10,000m final.

“Tanui is in good shape and two weeks ago he paced a 13:30, 5,000 metres race and he has scaled down his competition programme to focus on the trials in Oregon,” Mayaka added.

Tanui runs for the Kyudenko Company in Fukuoka. Meanwhile, Ethiopian athletics legend Haile Gebrselassie failed to qualify for the London Olympics on Sunday as he could only finish seventh in the 10,000m and admitted after his disappointing performance against 12 of his compatriots that his hopes had been dashed.

Ethiopia were using the race as a qualifier for the Olympics. “The Games in London is over for me,” he told AFP.

“I ran a good race till the last lap. “I felt good but I manifestly didn’t have the speed to compete against my rivals. That’s life. I am not disappointed.”

Gebrselassie’s epic defeat of Kenyan great Paul Tergat in Sydney 2000 for his second Olympic title is one of the great finishes of all time.

“The ‘spikes’, it is finished for me. I am 39. I have failed to qualify for the Olympics. And there is a very strong younger generation in Ethiopia now,” he added.