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Sprinters’ dillema

By Our reporter

Confusion surrounds the Rio de Janeiro bound team especially with sprinters who have raised their complaint against alleged divisions between the athletes and coaches who might miss to travel with the team to Brazil.

Sprinters have taken the complaints seriously to social media against the backdrop that their coaches John Anzrah and Paul Rop might miss the flight to Rio but the former (Anzrah) denied the allegations saying he will be traveling with kenya team.

World 400m hurdle champion Nicholas Bett, on his facebook account alleged that sprinters are not given enough support ahead of the Rio Games with two weeks to start.

He wrote “So sad that Kenyan sprinters, after all their efforts with their coaches, two of sprints coach have been dropped together with two sprinters. We don’t have the morale since we are going into a major world Olympic yet we are our own. We are the only ones left out since the other disciplines have coaches. I wonder what we are. Are we Kenyan ambassadors? Is this how Kenyan ambassadors should be treated.”

Sports Arena caught up with Bett after training at Kipchoge Keino stadium on Thursday and he stood by his words saying team’s morale has gone down after the sprinters noticed their coaches may not be traveling to Brazil.

“After learning that our sprint coaches Paul Rop and John Anzrah were not traveling to Brazil, the team spirit went down since these coaches have been working with us throughout our training and for them to miss in Brazil, they our morale goes down,” said Bett who will be competing in 400mh together with his brother Haron Koech and Boniface Mucheru.

But Anzrah refuted the allegations and was confident of traveling with the team to Rio.

“Whatever allegations, they are not true. As a coach, I will be traveling to Brazil as my visa is being worked out. I cannot confirm those allegations and the team is in the hands National Olympics Committee of Kenya (NOC-K). My docket is training,” confirmed Anzrah.

Bett’s allegations were shared by former world junior 400m bronze medalist Alex Sampao who will be competing in 400m and 4x400m relays.
Sampao says that some athletes have been dropped from the team and the relay team did not qualify for the Olympics yet they are one one of the best in the world.

“We are told relay team didn’t qualify yet we are among the top ten in the world and first in Africa. Away from that, several sprinters were eliminated in the team and rumours has it that some of the coaches will also be left behind. This has led to the team’s complaining for lack of teamwork between them and officials who are not involved in any decision making while making serious changes done to the team,” said Sampao.
He adds that all complaints have been directed to the Chief de Mission Stephen Soi as most of athletes’ rights are being neglected.
“many of our questions have been answered as many worries pile within the team on who to go and who to be left behind. But there has been poor response as in today’s training session, many sprinters were gambling on who will travel after getting the information that they are not going to be entered to compete in relays in Rio Olympics despite many of them being ranked among the best in the world and the best in Africa,” he questioned.
He added: “As athletes from this nation, we want elaborated on which criteria was used to enter some athletes, clarity of everything that concerns the team, those who are traveling and when? Those who are going to remain and why to remain after attaining the qualifying standards and their names have already been entered in the system as competitors and accredited already done. If not, we don’t want an oral explanation but let the list come from the ministry of sports signed by the cabinet secretary himself.”

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