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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Kenya’s Obiri to return strong after dismal
show at World Indoor Championships

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya athletes must return to the drawing board and hope to emerge stronger at the Commonwealth Games following their dismal run at the World Indoor Championships, which ended on Sunday in Birmingham, England.

The country could only manage one bronze medal from Bethwell Birgen as the eight-member team returns home dejected for yet another failed attempt at the premier indoor championships.

“It is a wake-up call. Things are getting tight and we have to up our game if we have to continue competing at the top level,” Coach Julius Kirwa said warned.

In 2016 in Portland, USA, Kenya claimed two bronze medals, but had to settle for a single bronze in Birmingham as top names failed to live to their expectations including World 5,000m champion Helen Obiri, who was fourth in the women’s 3,000m race.

“It was not quite the World Indoor Championships I wanted but I will keep working to make myself the best I can be,” Obiri said Monday.

Though poor running tactics, disqualification and visa hitch may take part of the blame, Kenya still has serious concerns of its preparations and what need to be done to improve the quality of the sport as rival countries closes in.

Medal hopeful Margaret Nyairera and Emmanuel Korir lost through technicality with Nyairera having been disqualified for stepping outside the lane, as compatriot Winny Chebet failed in her bid to qualify from the heats.

Korir’s title quest in 800m was nipped in the bud as he was denied a visa to travel from New York to Birmingham.

This left Kenya punching above their weight and could only secure one bronze medal at the championships.

Now the country will have time to recover and focus their energies on dominating the Commonwealth Games, which will be held in Gold Coast, Australia starting on April 4-15.

           

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