National coach Kirwa warns athletes against skipping weekend meets

National coach Kirwa warns athletes against skipping weekend meets

National athletics coach Julius Kirwa has issued a stern warning to athletes who have continuously skipped the Athletics Kenya (AK) track and field meetings.

Kirwa decried the move by some top  athletes who have already given a wide berth to the opening two meetings while there are no major international competitions at the moment.

With barely four months left to the start of Olympic Games in Tokyo, Kirwa said the meets is the only avenue for coaches to assess athletes with limited competitions available to the start of the Olympics.

“I am happy with the number of athletes who have attended the opening two meetings. However, I am also disappointed since most of the top athletes who we expect to carry our flag in Tokyo have decided to keep away from these competitions yet we don’t have any other competitions at the moment. They should take these races seriously since it gives me and other coaches an opportunity to assess their preparations,” Kirwa told Citizen Digital.

Kirwa hailed world 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri who competed in 10,000m at the second meeting while at the same time urging all athletes to turn up for the third and final leg of AK track and field series set for April 2-3 at the Nyayo Stadium.

“I want to urge all athletes to attend the final meeting so that we as coaches can start working on how to prepare them for the Olympics and other forthcoming championships,” he said.

The final meeting is also set to double as pre-trials for the World Under-20 Championships with the probable athletes for the global event set to join residential training camps mid next month as preparations gather momentum for the event slated for August 17-22 in Nairobi.

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