Interesting talk with a former 800 meter runner down here

I had a chat with a former Kenyan 800 meter runner yesterday. 1.44 at his best and also pacemaked Komen to his 7.20 and El Guerrouj to one of his world records.

He used to stay with the PUMA camp (mostly gone now because of the death of the…

manager Kim McDonald) in its prime years – with Komen, Ngeny, Kiptanui and the rest. I asked him what he thought about the current situation here in Kenya. He just shook his head ; things are not well organized at the moment – except Fila but that is only on the road races. Not well organized is strong words coming from a Kenyan….to say the least. Here nothing seems organized…:) One of the main “fabrics” of Kenyan talents is gone and I think – in 3-5 years we will see the results of this. The 800 meter runner explained how they used to do workouts down in the camp – the times (incredible) and the system. Quite clever and it cannot be compared with much else (expect maybe some of the much smaller Fila camps). Even Daniel Komen misses what he had done there – running his own camp in Kaptagat at the moment (w/Kibowen/Chepkuriu etc)

Maybe they will manage to change things down here but I think the corruption you find in Kenya/Kenyan athletics has scared away many of the “good” European managers from bringing up talents from the bottom. Now they only wait until they are well developed. But what when this development does not come anymore ? Who will they pick from ?

Just looking at the last few years. They won a bunch of medals in 2001 WC due to the tactics of coach Mike Kosgei. But where are the new faces ? I wonder if the Etiopians will catch up for real soon – not only with the top runners (where they are already at almost the same level) but also in depth. Time will tell.

A good session this morning after a really heavy one two days ago 🙂