NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
A senior official at Athletics Kenya (AK) said
Wednesday the country should commit more resources in field
events if the country hopes to increase its medal haul in the
sport at the international arena.
Barnaba Korir, who
is in charge of youth development at the national organization,
told Xinhua in Nairobi that it is time the country stopped
relying on the traditional long and middle distance races and
diversified to other events.
“The country does
not invest anything on Kenyan runners of middle and long
distance events because of the mistaken belief that they are
naturally talented. But that does not mean that it should also
do the same for field events,” Korir said.
“The seriousness of
a nation in matters pertaining to sports is adjudged by how much
capital it commits in developing its young generation. My plea
for money to be channeled towards field events for the youth
fell on deaf ears and now the results are there for all to see,”
Korir, who was the
team manager of the Kenyan team during the recently-concluded
World Under 18 Athletics Championships that was held in Nairobi,
said the country lacked runners in pole vault, high jump, shot
put and discus because there are no coaches for the events.
“As much as we call
ourselves a sporting nation, we lack such basic facilities like
landing gear for pole vault and high jump,” he lamented.
“Our high jumpers
clear the bar using the scissor kick instead of the back flip.
How does one expect them to employ the latter style and land on
a sand pit with their backs, hence the old-fashioned way,” Korir
The former long
distance runner debunked the myth that Kenyan runners win races
because of natural talent.
“Talent is an inborn
quality that will only carry one so far, but it is futile unless
you go for it. Kenyan runners work hard because hard work beats
talent when talent fails to work hard,” he said philosophically,
adding that that is reason enough for Kenyans to work hard in