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Gor Mahia coach not willing to play remaining league games2 minutes read

Coach of Kenyan giants Gor Mahia, Steven Polack says he is not prepared to play the 10 matches left in the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) if he is not guaranteed his safety

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Coach of Kenyan giants Gor Mahia, Steven Polack says he is not prepared to play the 10 matches left in the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) if he is not guaranteed his safety.

Polack blamed the KPL for their lack of decision making on the league season, stating that they should have had a backup plan.

“KPL should have held a meeting and unleashed a secret card to seal this matter after the government extended the curfew recently. Personally, I am very careful with my health and I will not be coaching if the league will resume. In any case I am not convinced of the safety measures put in place,” Polack said.

“I don’t think we have the capacity to test twice a week, fumigate the field before every match and sanitize the buses. Most of our players use public transport and it will be hard to manage the situation,” he added.

Polack made the statement after nine clubs petitioned the Sports Dispute Tribunal (SDT) of the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) stating their lack of support towards the resumption of the league due to their financial constraints.

The KPL and Chemelil Sugar went to the SDT challenging FKF President Nick Mwendwa’s declaration of Gor Mahia as champions of the KPL in April 30.

Polack said the KPL should not make decisions based on those of other countries who have the financial muscle to resume their league.

“We should not just follow decision taken by other countries who have the financial muscle to complete their matches amidst this pandemic. Financial challenges are still with us but I can confirm Gor Mahia is not among the clubs which wrote to FKF,” he added.

The Briton went on to say that Gor Mahia should be handed the league trophy instead of nullifying the league.

“Nullification is not an option for me because of the expenses incurred by clubs in the 23 matches. However, if it will be the decision taken, I wouldn’t appeal in courts but just respect it,” he said.

The KPL was suspended due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and are yet to decide to either resume or cancel the league season.

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East Africa Sports News

Kenyan star faces long spell on the sidelines

Kenya’s double 800m Olympic champion David Rudisha is set to be sidelined for at least four months after undergoing ankle surgery

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Kenya’s double 800m Olympic champion David Rudisha is expected to be sidelined for at least four months after he underwent successful surgery on his left ankle on Thursday after sustaining a fracture.

The 31-year-old, who has not competed in nearly two years due to knee and back injuries, twisted his ankle last week at his rural home in Kilgoris, Kenya.

“During a walk on the compound the 31-year-old stepped on uneven ground, and initially believed it was not a serious injury,” his manager Michele Boateng said in a press statement.

“He continued with exercises that wouldn’t cause further harm to his ankle but after a lack of improvement over the weekend, he underwent an examination and was diagnosed with an ankle fracture at St. Luke’s hospital in Eldoret.

“Rudisha, who is attempting to compete at his third Olympic Games next year, is expected to be out of training for 12 to 16 weeks and hopes to resume rehabilitation after that.

“According to his surgeon and Kenyan team doctor, Dr. Victor Bargoria, it was a left ankle fracture (Supination External Rotation) and he fixated it with a third tubular plate and 3.5mm screws,” his manager said on social media.

Before the Covid-19 related disruptions, the world record holder resumed training in December 2019 and had been training hard in order to become the first man to win three consecutive titles at Tokyo 2020. He is one of only four men to win back-back 800m Olympic titles and had been hopeful that he would be fit to defend his title at the now-postponed Tokyo 2020 Games.

“It’s been very tough handling all these pressures. I want to put everything behind me and start from here, now that the injury is gone and all that is in the past, so that I can improve myself on the track,” he told the Olympic Channel while attending the 2019 World Championships in Doha.

Regarded as the greatest 800-metre athlete of all time, Rudisha smashed the world 800-metre record twice in a span of eight days in 2010. He bettered Kenyan-born Dane Wilson Kipketer’s 13-year record in the two-lap race, posting 1:41.09 in Berlin and a week later in Rieti Italy he clocked 1:41.01.

In the same year, he was as crowned IAAF Athlete of the year for his achievements. At London 2012, Rudisha led from start to finish as he set the world record of 1:40.91.

Lord Sebastian Coe, IAAF president and two-time Olympic 1,500 metre champion, described the run as “the most extraordinary piece of running I have probably ever seen”.

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Nairobi leg of World Athletics Continental Tour named Kip Keino Classic

Nairobi leg of the World Athletics Continental Tour has been named the “Kip Keino Classic” in honour of Kenyan legend

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The Nairobi leg of the World Athletics Continental Tour has been named the “Kip Keino Classic”. Nairobi race director Barnaba Korir disclosed that apart from the main event being named after legendary former athlete Kipchoge Keino, the 10,000m will be known as the “Naftali Temu 10,000m Classic.”

“Kipchoge is the father of Kenyan athletics and the world knows him more than any Kenyan in athletics,” said Korir adding that naming the 10,000 at the meeting after legendary Temu will inspire Kenyan athletes to go for the Olympic title come the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games next year.

Kipchoge Keino won two gold medals in the 1500 and 5000 metres at the inaugural All-Africa Games in Brazaville in 1965. Later that year, he broke the 5000 m world record held by Ron Clarke, clocking 13 mins 24.2secs.

At the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, he won the 1500 metres gold medal (defeating American favourite and world record holder Jim Ryun by 20 metres, the largest winning margin in the history of the event) and 5000 m silver medal. Four years later, he won the 3000 metres steeplechase gold and 1500 metres silver at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany. He retired in 1973.

The World Athletics Continental Tour was formed by World Athletics last year as the second tier to the prestigious Diamond League.

The Tour will feature mostly events that have been removed from the Diamond League prime time starting from the inaugural 2020 season. They are 10,000, 5,000, 200m, 3000m steeplechase, discus, hammer and triple jump.

The Continental Tour that has 10 events is divided into three levels – Gold, Silver and Bronze – whose status will be determined by the quality of competition and prize money.

Athletics Kenya plans to stage several meetings starting early August in readiness for the Kip Keino Classic. AK president Jackson Tuwei revealed that if the government relaxes Covid-19 restrictions, they are likely to stage county and regional events before the nationals.

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Kenya and Norway set for virtual athletics battle

All is set for a long-dsitance showdown between Kenya and Norway at the Impossible Games next month

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All is set for a long-dsitance showdown between Kenya and Norway at the Impossible Games taking place next month. The race will be held in the memory of the late Maurie Plant, who was one of the most significant figures in Australian and world athletics.

Plant died on January 19 this year at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne after being on life support for three weeks. He had suffered multiple strokes and kidney failure. The 66-year-old was a former agent, team manager and BBC broadcaster.

Team Cheruiyot will be led by middle-distance star and reigning 1500m Diamond League Champion Timothy Cheruiyot of Kenya. He will be joined by 2017 world champion in the 1,500m and reigning African 1,500m champion Elijah Manang’oi as well as 800m specialist Edwin Meli.

Team Ingebrigsten is made up of three Norweigian brothers, Jakob, the European 1,500m and 5,000m champion and Henrik and Filip, who are currently training in Norway.

Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Sports Amina Mohammed disclosed that the virtual race that pits Kenya against Norway, will see the two teams battle it out in an innovative new format over 2000 metres at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi and the Bislett Stadium in Oslo, Norway respectively.

“The race will be staged simultaneously at the two cities with the two teams not getting to meet each other owing to the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Amina while unveiling Team Cheruiyot at the Nyayo National Stadium.

Oslo Diamond League meeting director Steinar Hoen has described the race as “the first virtual race at such a level in the history of athletics”. Both teams will start with five runners and end with three, and the winner will be the team with the best overall time from their top three runners.

A Wanda Diamond League exhibition event, the Impossible Games was conceived by Bislett Games organizers to allow this year’s Oslo Diamond League meeting go ahead under Norway’s coronavirus regulations.

Instead of the usual, elite-level hunt for Diamond League points, the Impossible Games will instead showcase the innovative spirit of athletics with a series of set-piece exhibition events.

Beyond the 2000m battle, the programme is taking shape for the Games, which will take place at Bislett Stadium on June 11.

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