Kenyan runners have ‘nothing to worry’ after Trump victory
Kenyan athletes have nothing to worry about racing in America following the stunning election of Donald Trump as the 45th US President on Wednesday.
During his campaigns Trump had said that he would deport immigrants living in the United States illegally once elected as the President in his pledge to ‘Make America Great Again’ in comments that have sparked fear among foreigners in the country.
Kenyan athletes have dominated distance races across America including their World Marathon Majors showpieces of Boston, Chicago and New York Marathons, carting away millions of dollars in prize money.
Many Kenyans have also acquired citizenship after acquiring scholarship grants in American universities and competing in the National Collegiate Athletic Association events.
Former New York champion and retired great, Douglas Wakiihuri did not see any cause of alarm and urged athletes to remain focused on their training.
“We just have to wait and see if he is really going to implement what he said during the campaigns or it was just a heated moment.
“If he truly does that then it will not hinder Kenyan athletes from running. However, if one door closes the other opens, hence we will have to look for other road races to participate in. There are many good races out there and I believe they will still perform well,” Wakiihuri who won the New York race in 1991 asserted.
Athletics Kenya Nairobi Branch Chairman Barnabas Korir who has in the United States for about 12 years on an athletic scholarship was optimistic that Trump was not going execute his pledge.
“I really don’t know what to feel, but want to believe that the sentiments he made when he was campaigning that he will deport Kenyan in the US. It will not be easy for him to do that since there are rules and policies governing that, although have already seen placards saying go ‘Back to Kenya!’.
“As for Kenyan athletes, I don’t believe they will be affected that much. Problem will come in for the athletes who are there illegally might be deported. Before we used to be given a two-year VISA but now we are given one for five years, which does not allow us to conduct any other business there in America,” Korir who is also the local representative for giant firm Nike told Citizen Digital on phone.
“All the mangers living in the US should apply for a pure Visa. Otherwise it might be a bit difficult for a new athlete to go and compete if that law is implemented.” Korir advised.
Last Sunday, Mary Keitany won her third successive New York Marathon to become the first woman in 30 years to achieve that feat and last month, Abel Kirui and Florence Kiplagat completed the Kenyan double in Chicago.
Republican Trump beat Democrat favourite and former First Lady Hillary Clinton in a victory that upset all predictions.