Kenya coach wants athletes to skip Diamond League for Worlds
Kenya athletics head coach Julius Kirwa is concerned about possible burn out of his star athletes and on Monday requested them to shelve their Diamond League engagements to focus on the Beijing World Championships to be held between August 22 and 30.
Nairobi: Kenya athletics head coach Julius Kirwa is concerned about possible burn out of his star athletes and on Monday requested them to shelve their Diamond League engagements to focus on the Beijing World Championships to be held between August 22 and 30.
Kirwa said majority of Kenyans are not in top form and need to focus on more training to gain their fitness ahead of the World Championships, instead of chasing the Diamond money in the 14-leg circuit, reports Xinhua.
"There are three or four legs to go before the World Championships and some of these athletes are not close to winning the Diamond League races and should shelve it and go train. The World Championships is much greater than the money they are chasing at the Diamond League," Kirwa said.
On Saturday, Olympic champion Eunice Sum collected the maximum four league points after finishing first in the women's 800 metres race at the Stade de France in Paris.
Sum, who is exhibiting top form, won her third race in as many attempts when she posted a new personal best time of 1:56.99 minute to shrug off chasing Cuban Mary Almanza. Sum's time was the world lead since 2013.
"Sum has done enough. She is leading the Diamond League and she can afford to rest and skip the race in Monaco and Stockholm," said Kirwa.
Sum had also indicated she will cut down her races to focus on the Beijing Worlds, and having opened a six point lead, she can afford the comfort of straying away to train and let her chasers catch up in the two other meetings.
Another strong Kenyan show was in the 1,500 metres race where former world silver medallist Silas Kiplagat was in top form clocking 3:30.12 minutes to beat Djibouti's Ayanleh Souleiman and compatriot Ronald Kwemoi.
As expected, Kenyans dominated the 3,000 metres steeplechase, but it was Jairus Kipchoge Birech, who took top honours beating American Evan Jager to second while Conseslus Kipruto was third. Reigning Olympic and world champion Ezekiel Kemboi finished a distant 11th.