Kenyan athletes have complained over the nonpayment after competing in
some Chinese races forcing them to live a poor life.
Gideon Kipchumba Kibi, who made his maiden international trip to China,
said he was chasing his dream in road running but that he claims that he paid a heavy price after competing in four races.
Speaking to Dailysport.co.ke, he accused some officials of misusing their position to undermine their talents. He claimed that one Obed Tiony was behind the woes in China.
He said he competed in the races without accreditation from Athletics
He competed in four races, one-two half marathons and two marathons, claiming he was not paid a penny with the unavailability of food and place to sleep in a foreign state.
After arriving in China, he claims he did not test food for two days and on the third day, he was to run his first race, Zhuji Xishi international marathon where he finished second timing 2:27.21 behind home winner.
“It was one of the worst days in a foreign country. When I arrived in China, it took us two days to eat. On the eve of the race, our agent brought rice where we had to cook for ourselves. We had to eat as super then eat the same in the morning ahead of the race. I had to run my heart out knowing that it was my great chance,” said Kibii.
Dailysport.co.ke managed to speak to Tiony, who rubbished the claims instead said what he did to Kibii as well as other Kenyan runners is bigger than what they say.
“I bought international air tickets for him just like other athletes who come to China. I paid for visa among other needs. Some of these athletes come to China, they know nobody, I help them run in various races to earn some money but they are not appreciative,” said Tiony.
After Xishi, they had to travel to another region to compete at Mount Tai International marathon with little food. Unfortunately, he fainted along the way and was taken to the hospital where he was immediately administered, with much glucose into his body and recovered after two days reason, hunger.
“It was not easy for me, running in an empty stomach, which I could not
handle,” said Kibii.
A week later, he had to compete in two half marathon, finishing one and failing to complete the other.
“It was hard for us in the room, eating plain rice daily. We questioned our agent and promised to bring a variety of food the following day but that
was the last day we saw him,” complained Kibii.
This Tiony said it was all propaganda and Kenyan runners are great liars. He says they lie their time and once they compete, they register totally different time.
“I have to tell Kenyan runners to remain should remain genuine to their time. Some say they have registered 2:10, which is good to compete at a certain stage but they end up giving wrong information and once they arrive here, they register poor results,” said Tiony.
He added that he has helped many athletes whom he has never met in life.
I provide accommodation, air tickets.
“If an athlete doesn’t complete a race, then he or she is not paid. I received so many calls from athletes who need my help and I do that. I also help good runners to get managers in a foreign land, which is not easy at all,” added
Apart from food challenges, fourteen athletes from Kenya and Ethiopia lived in the same room where they mixed both men and women.
“Women used to sleep in the right-wing and men spent their night in the left-wing. It was hectic mixing us in one room as if we were animals,” said Kibii.
Tiony said he helped athletes like Nancy, Mathew Kiptoo, Willy, Dan Bii, Felix Kirwa, Edwin, Celestine, Bernard among others.