Yego quits as captain of the Athletics Kenya squad

Tuesday, July 6th, 2021 00:00 | By
Kamar Etyang (with 260 bib) celebrate after finishing second best behind Charles Simotwo (188), beating Timothy Cheruiyot (333) during the men 1500m finals at the national Olympics trials in Kasarani three weeks ago. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

Yego quits as captain of the squad, attempts by Athletics Kenya to axe qualified Etyang from Olympics-bound group elicits sharp reactions

Youngster Kamar Etyang’s chances of making a olympic debut look bleak after he failed to meet some World Athletics requirements.

Should he fail to make the team, World 1,500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot, winner of the Stockholm Diamond League on Sunday and who was fourth during the national trials will be drafted to the team to join Charles Simotwo and Abel Kipsang.

As per the Athletes Integrity Unit (AIU), for one to be eligible for a major Championships like the Olympics, the primary prerequisite besides time is to undertake three out of competition anti-doping tests 10 months to compete in  such events.

Etyang, who finished second behind Simotwo in the men’s 1,500m during the National trials, is yet to meet the requirement.

But questions have emerged on why Athletics Kenya (AK) invited him to the trials where the rule was that the first two across the line would earn a direct ticket to the Tokyo Olympics, then decide to change goal posts later.

The 19-year-old athlete on Sunday took to social media, lamenting that he is on the verge of being kicked out of team Kenya currently training under a bubble at Kasarani.

“My name is Kamar Etyang, a professional athlete from Turkana, Kenya. I’m 19 years old. 

I’ve been through a lot of challenges since childhood. I have slept so many times without food. I still do.

I struggled a lot to complete primary and High School due to school fees problem,” he wrote on his facebook page. He added: “I’ve been into athletics since childhood.

I always saw running as an opportunity for me to emancipate myself out of poverty. I’m a 1500 metres athlete.

That’s why when I went to Kasarani, Nairobi last month, I did my best to qualify for Tokyo Olympic Games. I became number two, thereby automatically qualifying to join the Olympics team.

Unfortunately, the Kenyan Government has decided to remove me out of the Olympic team, saying I’m still young, and inexperienced and that I stand no chance of winning 1500 meters in the coming Tokyo Olympic Games. I’m really heartbroken.”

General Team Manager for Tokyo Olympics Barnaba Korir yesterday clarified that patient was required as the matter is being attended to.

“He (Etiang) is one of the emerging talents who is yet to meet the anti-doping requirements, the three mandatory out of competition tests, which is very normal for a country like ours that keeps producing outstanding talents every passing day,” said Korir in a statement .

“I want to confirm that we are in talks with the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) to find a lasting solution on this matter,” he added.

Korir urged the public to avoid speculation since Etiang is still in camp and the stakeholders are still engaging AIU to consider such cases where youngsters who have not met anti-doping requirements crop up.

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