The selection of fourth placed Wesley Korir, in Boston Marathon last month, ahead of second placed Kipyego in the Tokyo marathon and who has been consistent in his 13 career marathons, raised some questions on the selection criteria for the marathon team representing Kenya in Rio..
Korir whose best running time this year was 2:14:05 in Boston Marathon, raised a lot of questions and is way below the running times of kenyan runners who have participated in races this year.
Questions abound in regard to this selection. Was it favoritism? Is it blood relations? Does his position as a member of parliament influence this decision or was it his vocal defense of the AK on the issue of Doping by his constant attacks on PAAk organising secretary Julius Ndegwa?
Ndegwa who has been on the receiving end lately from Korir who purport that Ndegwa has been having interviews. This is what he said about it, “We have already seen pictures, videos doing rounds of people doing interviews and hosting foreigners in their houses and one of them is Ndegwa (Julius),” said Korir. “I don’t want to beat around the bush. I have forwarded his name to the administration (police) for action.”
Korir alleged that some people have taken advantage of the country’s doping situation to spread propaganda.“Some young desperate people, athletes or not have been given money to tarnish the name of our athletes and I am not going to stay aside and watch them spoil our name”.
“We are going to the Olympics and I am standing here selfishly defending myself and the athletes of this country”.
The big question is why now? Why did he not talk before the team’s selection?
The selection left out the best we could ever have and one of them when reached for comment had this to say, “I expected to be named in the team after finishing second in Tokyo Marathon. But it’s okay. It’s the duty of the federation. I wish the team well”.
“A panel of coaches who selected the team looked at performance, consistency and current form,” said Athletics Kenya vice president Paul Mutwii who is in charge of competitions.
While naming the team for Rio he continued, ‘we factored many things in selecting this team to represent us, consistency and performance so those crying foul because of Wesley should put into consideration about the two factors above’.
Athletes who fear to be seen criticizing or commenting on the above because of the repercussions say they have left a whole team for the podium as one stated on his social page,
Elias Obanyi Makori “ Family matters… I know his wife is gunning for Canadian qualifying standards in tomorrow’s Ottawa race to make husband and wife pair at Rio Olympics… Having said that, his outburst against PAAK was absolutely uncalled for and juvenile”.
“He should just shut up and train for Rio because he didn’t deserve to be in the team in the first place. He has a point to prove to 40 million Kenyans, that he didn’t use his political influence to gain selection. I don’t rank him highly. There are better runners. But again, he could prove me wrong in Rio and I so hope he does”!
Many wished Kotut could be in the team as stated by this die hard and loyal fan,” Gilbert Koech Yes. The least Cyprian Kotut, can give is a silver not even bronze. But for Korir, it’s just another holiday like in Hawaiian beaches”.
Some of the big names that were left out include, Paris winner Cyprian Kimurgor (2:07:11), Bernard Kipyego (2:07:33), a runner up in Tokyo Marathon, Rotterdam Marathon winner Marius Kipserem (2:06:11), Lawrence Cherono (2:07:24) winner Prague marathon.
If the selection was pegged on this three things as stated by AK vice president Paul Mutwii, performance, consistency and current form.
On performance the best Wesley has ever performed is 2:06:13 and on the consistency, can he beat the time above from the best this year? And on current form he is out of shape and cant be on podium.
With the running times above and Korir best running time of 2:06:13 that he ran almost four years ago in october 2012 and has never again repeated that time again.was he eligible to be in Rio team? Was his attacking of PAAk organizing secretary play a role for his selection?
These questions keep popping up even as the team continue searching for gold in Rio.