Team Kenya captain Wesley Korir has said that his participation at Ottawa Marathon three months before the Rio Olympics could not have affected his performance at the Games.
Korir said that his participation in the race on May 29 where he paced his wife, Tarah McKay Korir, who was chasing Olympic qualifying time, was before Team Kenya’s marathon team went into camp.
“Someone thinking that running 40 kilometres with my wife almost three months before Olympics affected my race then they know nothing about marathon training and running,” said Korir.
“I did many 40km long run at faster pace than what I did with my wife as directed by coaches.”
Korir said that despite the marathon team camp having not started, he sought permission from Team Kenya coaches, who gave him the green light and instruction how to pace.
“I used instructions approved by Team Kenya coaches for the race in Ottawa. There was no one in camp and everyone was training on his own,” explained Korir.
“The problem is people, who don’t understand marathon have now become masters of the game.”
The Rio Probe Committee report, whose members included Ibrahim Hussein, the first black man to win the New York marathon, accused Korir of not adhering to team preparations and regulations.
It said that on May 29, 2016, Korir is said to have left camp and proceeded to run as a pace setter for his wife where he covered 41 out of the full 42km race and with only a few weeks to the Olympics, the athlete could not recover enough to run marathon in Rio.
“He dropped out of the Rio Olympic race citing ‘water mix-up’ problem along the course,” said the report.
Tarah, a Canadian national who was chasing the Canadian qualifying standard of two hours, 29 minutes and 50 seconds, fell short despite running a personal best 2:35:46 at the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon.
Meanwhile, Olympic javelin silver medallist Julius Yego, who is also the world champion, has insisted that the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Nock) were to blame for his travelling impasse even after the report cleared Nock.
The report blamed a technical hitch at Kenya Airways where Yego’s name didn’t show up in the system yet he had the ticket.
Yego said on his Facebook page that one Derrick, who went find out what had happened, confirmed that his ticket had been changed and his next booking didn’t show on when he was to travel.