NEWS SERVICE REPORTS
FROM THE AFRICAN
Champion athletes condemn deadly Boston Marathon
What happened in Boston remains just a lone
incident that must not be allowed to repeat or
discourage other athletes from running
By Kimathi Kamau and John
Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
two-time Boston Marathon champion Moses Tanui and
former world marathon record holder Paul Tergat
are among elite Kenyan runners who have expressed
outrage at the Monday bombing attack on the event
that left three dead and scores injured.
from Eldoret on Tuesday, Tanui who won the 1996
and 1998 men’s titles at Boston termed the bombing
incident ‘unfortunate’ while expressing relief
that the nine Kenyan runners who competed at the
event escaped unharmed.
have to call the event that happened unfortunate. Athletics
is one of the sports that unites the world but some people
with evil minds want to ruin the sport
are lucky our athletes were not hurt. Boston is one of the
top marathons in the world and I hope next year they will
tighten security so that the race can continue,” Tanui, now
a keen golfer, stated.
you are in that position one will be scared but the good
thing for us is that the elite athletes had already crossed
the finish line but it is a big blow to the country
(America) since most of those affected were fun runners and
others competing for charity which is sad,” the 1991 world
champion over 10,000m added.
Tergat, who won the
2005 New York race, told of his anguish as he witnessed the
events unfold on television.
of us are really sad that some members of the society can
bring something like this in the sport and affect people who
are harmless and having fun.
hope this is not going to send the wrong signals but as a
sportsman it was so painful to watch since sports is meant
to unite people. We don’t need this at these events since
they bring people from all walks of life together, men,
women and children,” he explained.
Tergat, who is now a
UN goodwill ambassador among other diplomatic roles added his
concern that the Boston bombings could deprive his compatriots
who have excelled in distance running livelihood.
too early to say what the impact of these attacks will have
on the sport but the fear is without the many people who
turn up, we will not have sponsors coming to these events
and it could affect the income.
children earn and youth earn a living we converge together
in thousands for fun, fitness and health and what was
unfolding it touched me, when I saw it last night, I could
He urged those who
will compete in Sunday’s London Marathon to take heart and not
to allow the atrocities to dampen their resolve.
other runners going to London, they should not fear, because
I want to believe it was one off thing and will not occur
Monday’s attacks at
the finish area of Boston Marathon raised concerns about the
psychological state of Kenyan elite runners who will feature
in Sunday’s London Marathon.
Among them is world
marathon record holder Patrick Makau, who was scheduled to
arrive in London on Tuesday morning.
has his first appearance scheduled for Wednesday at the
Virgin London Marathon Stage.
of us at the IAC, clients and management team, are still in
a state of disbelief and it will take some time for these
developments to sink in and for all of us to reflect.
this tragic news broke, all our friends and all people
present and affected were in our thoughts and prayers and we
followed and we are to continue to follow developments,”
Makau’s manager Zane Branson said in a statement.
events in Boston are, probably and to a certain extent,
going to change marathons, half marathons and road races,
but it is our firm belief that good, camaraderie and
resilience of runners of all abilities are going to
prevail,” he added.
and Olympics bronze medallist Wilson Kipsang, two-time world
titleholder Abel Kirui, 2011 Boston crown holder Geoffrey
Mutai as well as former London winners, Emmanuel Mutai and
Martin Lel are other star Kenyan runners in the men’s roster.
winner Priscah Jeptoo and 2011 Berlin winner Florence Kiplagat
are in the corresponding women’s field of the event whose
security arrangements have been reviewed following the
gruesome events in Boston.
believes the bombings will not have an adverse impact on the
earnings of Kenyan athletes who have turned to such events to
make a living.
like Boston are organisations and as such, income cannot be
affected but the biggest concern is people who come to
witness these races could be afraid to come out and enjoy
the sport,” he explained.
are grateful and relieved that all our runners are safe. The
incident was very sad and disturbing and our prayers go out
to the Boston community and all those involved. It is sad
that sporting events can be targeted like this,” Athletics
Kenya chairman boss Isaiah Kiplagat said in his reaction to
athletics officials have also condemned the terrorist act that
saw two blasts rock Boston Marathon on Monday.
Athletics Kenya (AK)
Secretary General David Okeyo said the cowardly act must not
dissuade athletes focus ahead of their intended race at the
London Marathon on Sunday.
happened in Boston remains just a lone incident that must
not be allowed to repeat or discourage other athletes from
running. I want to urge Kenyans athletes who were preparing
to compete at the London Marathon to go ahead and run
bravely because their security will be guaranteed,” said
Okeyo Tuesday in Nairobi.
is a silly act. Of course the sole responsibility of
security for any event lies with the organizers, but this
shows the extend that the countries security system need to
take whenever events of such magnitude happen. You never
know where it might happen,” he said.
Okeyo said marathon
is run on road over vast distance and sealing it off
completely is a challenge.
can also happen inside stadiums and it is a call for us in
the sports world to tighten our nuts on the security in
coordination with national governments,” said Okeyo.
In January, Kenyan
runner Edwin Kipsang Rotich was tackled by a member of the
public when leading at the Kings Race marathon in the
Brazilian city of Cuiaba - but he still managed to go on and
terrorists have no shame. Sports unite people, we know
nothing about racism, segregation or any evil, ours is a
career that brings all people together and to be the target
of such cowardly attacks is absurd,” said Okeyo.
Kenya’s Rita Jeptoo
and Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa won the women’s and men’s Boston
Marathon, continuing African runners’ dominance in the sport.
Another Kenyan woman
Sharon Cherop, winner in 2012, was third. In the men side,
Micah Kogo made his debut and was able to clinch silver.
Wesley Korir, winner in 2012, was fifth while Dickson Chumba
settled for seventh spot.
Kenyan embassy in
Washington confirmed that no Kenyan was involved in the
incidence and all are safe.
This comes as
Athletics Kenya meets in Nairobi to select its provisional
squad for the World Championships in Moscow, Russia in August.
AK Chairman Isaiah
Kiplagat said, the results in London and Boston will not be
considered as they look at consistence and year-long results
in naming the final team.
Abels Kirui rues missing London
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s marathon star Abel Kirui is disheartened on missing
out what would have been his fourth shot at the London
marathon on April 21.
Speaking on arrival
in Nairobi from Amsterdam on Sunday, Kirui who settled for
fifth spot in last year’s race, said he was all prepared to
bid for his first title on the London street, but a muscle
strain while in training last week forced him to travel to
Amsterdam to seek special medical advice.
Doctors advised him
to stay away after he was diagnosed with stress fractures.
who won the Olympic silver medal in London last August, has
a grade two stress fracture in his right shin. After showing
painful bruising around his right leg, Kirui was
investigated by the Department of Elite Sports Medicine in
the Dutch town of Ede and found to have a grade two stress
reaction with edema in the right distal fibula bone with
reactive edema in the surrounding soft tissue” a statement
from his management said on Sunday.
But on return to
Nairobi, Kirui said he will not relent on his bid to win
London marathon. However, he said that he could have run, but
want to prolong his career.
was the use of me hurting my body, putting everything on the
line for one race and then be ruled out for two years. The
doctors have advised me to stay away from training or
competition for three weeks.
will then start light training and in two months time, I
will be ready for the competitive races again. I have
relayed the same message to Athletics Kenya and they have
expressed their frustration too. But I expect to be named in
the team to the World Championships in Moscow, where I want
to defend my title.
is why I will listen to the doctor’s advice. It will be
history for me to win the marathon gold on three consecutive
attempts. That is what I want and I will be in Moscow in
August with only one aim, to win the gold,” said Kirui.
The London Olympic
silver medallist said X-ray scans showed that he did not incur
a fracture and was relieved that soon he will be back on the
Kirui will be the
second Kenyan to withdraw from London marathon after fifth
finisher Lucy Kabuu also dropped out last week.
announced that Portuguese runner and former 1,500m Olympic
medalist and multiple European indoor champion Rui Silva, who
had planned his debut at the distance, was forced to withdraw
after he sustained symptoms of the same injury like Kirui.
you read it first at coastweek.com