Kenya bars students from foreign competition


Nairobi : Athletics Kenya (AK) wants to bar school athletes from taking part in international competitions this year — because they are scoring poorly academically.

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Chairman Isaiah Kiplagat said Athletics Kenya was discussing with the government measures to stem poor results posted by athletes.

“We want to stress the issue of education because looking at the (recent)results, most athletes performed extremely poorly. That is a trend we do not want to see,” Xinhua quoted Kiplagat as saying.

“We would like to see our athletes excelling in their education as well as winning medals.

“The future is more important than winning medals and history will judge us harshly if we do not give the matter due consideration,” he added.

If the proposal is implemented, events such as world junior, world youth, Diamond League and other IAAF Permit events on track that fall in the second term of the Kenyan school calendar would be affected.

Some of the top junior runners who competed last year ahead of their final exams include world youth 800m record holder and champion Leonard Kirwa Konsecha and World Cross women junior gold medallist Faith Chepng’etich.

Kiplagat said Kenya would bid to host the 2020 world junior or 2019 world youth championships if the government gives the go ahead.

He said plans were in place to ensure all athletes who are travelling to compete outside the country do so only with clearance from the federation.

“I’m appealing to all embassies to issue visas to runners only when they have a letter (from us).

“Cases where our athletes are being deported are on the rise, and so far we have lost two runners who left here without our knowledge,” he said.