Kiplagat said there is no way they can prevent foreign athletes from training with Kenyans in Iten. Kipalgat explained that training with other athletes helps Kenyan runners learn how to cope with stiffer competition.
The Chairman of Athletics Kenya, Isaiah F. Kiplagat has disputed reports that Kenya will stop Ugandan runners from training in Iten following the success of Stephen Kiprotich at the 2012 London Olympics.
After training in Iten, Kiprotich was in good form to beat Kenyan runners Abel Kirui (World Championship marathon winner) and Wilson Kipsang in the 42km Marathon to win a gold medal. It was the second Ugandan gold at the Olympics ending a 40-year wait since the late John Akii Bua won the country’s first gold at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
Speaking to Uganda Radio Network on phone from one of the outskirts in Nazarene, Kiplagat said there is no way they can prevent foreign athletes from training with Kenyans in Iten. Kipalgat explained that training with other athletes helps Kenyan runners learn how to cope with stiffer competition.
The athletes chairman said they will not only carry on accepting Ugandan athletes but also those from the United Kingdom (UK) and many others countries.
Commenting about Kenya’s poor showing at the Olympics which was far below expectation, Kiplagat said athletes will now work harder and stop underrating their opponents.
After Kiprotich’s victory news filtered through from Kenya that they would stop hosting Ugandans in their training centres.
Iten, Kenya, attracts long distance athletes from all over the world, seeking high altitude training opportunities. The region is famed as the training ground for many of Kenya's world record breaking long distance runners. 800 to 1,000 runners live and train in the Iten area.