Kirwa has high hopes in 10,000m team

Published on 24/06/2009

By Feverpitch Reporter

Athletics head coach, Julius Kirwa, envisages strong 10,000m teams for Berlin will emerge from the New KCC/AK National Championships.

Speaking to FeverPitch yesterday Kirwa, who led the team to a harvest of five gold, five silver and four bronze medals at the 2007 world event in Osaka, disclosed the crop of runners given the nod to contest for six slots available were nearing their peak.

“The men’s and women races will be good competition if all invited athletes show up and we will have strong teams to represent the country,” Kirwa said.

The coach also applauded the decision to use the National Championships as the selection event for 10,000m runners as opposed to the July 25 Trials.

“Selected runners will have more time to relax after the Nationals to focus fully on Berlin. If the team had selected on July 25, it would mean having only two weeks for them to train.

“(10,000m runners) require more time to recover than those in shorter distances and rushing them in training would have not been advisable.”

On Kenya’s chances over the distance that has yielded only three World championship gold medals, Kirwa observed.

“I cannot predict whether we will win in Berlin until the team is selected and train with coaches but I can tell you that this time, we will be closer (to Ethiopians).”

He singled out athletes such as Florence Kiplagat and Linet Masai who ran Ethiopian female stalwarts Tirunesh Dibaba (double Olympic champion) and Meselech Melkamu (Africa champion) close in recent grand prix events.

“In the men’s races, we have the likes of Micah Kogo, Leonard Komon, Mike Kosgei, Moses Ndiema Masai, the likes of (Martin) Mathathi and if he chooses to run 10,000m, Eliud Kipchoge capable of giving good accounts of themselves,” Kirwa added.

Kogo is the world 10k record holder, Komon won senior silver at last year’s World Cross in Amman, Kosgei has clocked the third quickest time of the year in 10,000m while Kipchoge is the reigning world 5,000m silver medallist.

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