Monday March 24 2014

Kenyans fall short in world challenge

By Jacinta Odongo


After sweeping honours during the Africa Cross-country Championships at Kololo Airstrip the previous weekend, Kenya were expected to call the shots on Saturday.

But that was not to be the case as Kenya failed to win a single medal in the women’s category of the World University Cross-country Championships at Entebbe Golf Course.

Kenya’s best performer, Sheila Kandie, finished eighth as Uganda swept the podium slots and won the team gold. “Our University programme is so tight,” said Tecla Chemabwai, Team Kenya’s coach. “Our athletes hardly get time to train because their programmes run full time thus they train only once a day which cannot be enough. We cannot compare them to the rest.”

Kenya scooped all the medals on offer during the Africa Crosss-country at Kololo but things were so different at Entebbe. “Something needs to be done for the ladies team. It was evident that they had not trained well,” Kenya’s team captain, Joseph Kariuki added. Kandie clocked 21:39.15 for eighth place with Uganda taking the top three positions.

Faith Keitany, Kenya’s second best performer, finished 32nd in 25:05.92. Vivian Biwot clocked 25:33.56 to finish 34th, further compounding Uganda’s misery. The Kenyan women team have never won any individual or team medal since the inaugural World University Cross-country Championships in 1968 in Belgium.

Their male counterparts though clinched a clean sweep of medals in the 1988 event in Portugal.