The poor performance by Olympic champs Jelimo and Lagat is worrying


Published on 10/06/2009

When geese that lay golden eggs previously suddenly begin producing rock pebbles, then something is seriously amiss.

Imagery does not sufficiently describe mounting concern over Beijing golden queens Pamela Jelimo and Nancy Jebet Lagat after recent shocking displays.

Olympic 800m gold medallist Jelimo, who won every race she entered last year, was stunned to fifth in Rabat on May 23 and last Sunday, took the wooden spoon at Pre Fontaine Classic in Oregon.

Lagat, the 1,500m Olympic champion, faded to seventh at the Qatar Super Grand Prix before slipping to eighth at the Oregon meeting.

At least the Beijing champion won the 800m and 1,500m events at the Armed Forces championships in between. Although it’s still early in the outdoor track season to write-off both champions, a country that only a few months ago celebrated the pinnacle of their historic success does not deserve to witness them degenerate so soon.

Golazo (Jelimo) and Rosassociati (Lagat) companies who are their managers, coaches, Athletics Kenya and even Government need to find a rapid solution to the slide.

Drastic changes in the athletes’ training regimes and late beginning to build-up for the season are said to cause the appalling displays.

If that is the case, the handlers of Jelimo and Lagat need to revert to the formula that worked to perfection last season without delay in addition to devoting more time for them to reach peak form.

With the World Championships in Berlin on the horizon, such listless displays will only encourage rivals who cowed at their dominance to believe in themselves.

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