Sunday, October 3, 2010

Security fears force Vivian to delay Delhi trip


Nine track and field athletes were left behind as a group of 12 middle- and long distance runners jetted out Friday for the Commonwealth Games which start on Sunday.

World 5,000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot, who had voiced her concern over the reported security fears, Sylvia Kibet, the world silver medallist and Innes Chenonge will travel to Delhi on October 9, compete in her race a day later and fly out immediately.

Games squad largest

“I hear the security situation is not so good. There are other numerous complaints and that is why I have decided to delay my departure. I will not pull out but will be cautious,” said Cheruiyot.

Sports Minister Paul Otuoma led the Kenyan delegation that joined another 170 athletes and officials already in India, making the 240-strong Games squad the country’s largest.

Those who left on Friday included head coach Peter Mathu, Cherono Koech, Richard Kiplagat, Abraham Kiplagat, Boaz Lalang and Gideoon Gathimba.

Others were James Magut, Titus Mbishei, Joseph Birech, Daniel Lemashon Salel, Nancy Jebet Lagat, Doris Chengeiywo and David Kimutai.

‘I will not withdraw’

Vivian Cheruiyot, Sylvia Kibet, Innes Chenonge, Grace Momanyi, Caroline Kilela and Irene Jerotich Kosgei were left behind, as were Rose Kerubo, Amos Matui, John Kilai Ekiru and coach David Leting.

Momanyi will be joining her colleagues on Monday together with the rugby team.

“I have always been focussed and the Commonwealth Games was one of the events I planned to compete in. That is why I will not join the other elite athletes by withdrawing,” said Olympic 1,500m champion Lagat.

No pressure for Kenya

She noted that Team Kenya has no pressure and has nothing to prove in Delhi.

Mathu said preparations have been completed and it is now upon the athletes to put into practice what they learnt during training.