London Games: Kenyan officials argue over pre-Games camp

Reuters, Saturday 30 Jun 2012

The London Olympics will start on July 27

Kenya's Olympic chiefs have fallen out over preparations for next month's London Games.

The government and the national Olympics body favour a training camp in Bristol, England, but athletes' representatives said on Friday that this could affect the performance of the team.

Kip Keino, chairman of Kenya's National Olympics Committee, believes the camp will help athletes because of its highly specialised facilities but Isaiah Kiplagat, chairman of Athletics Kenya, disagrees.

"Athletes, swimmers and boxers will benefit in Bristol in their preparations for the Games," Keino told Reuters.

"Athletics is more mental and physical and our athletes will need to improve on their speed and techniques," added the former middle-distance runner who won Olympic gold in 1968 and 1972.

However, Kiplagat believes athletes will benefit from altitude training in Kenya before they travel to London.

Some athletes have questioned the idea of going to Bristol including 1988 Olympics 800 metres gold medallist Paul Ereng and 1991 world 5,000 champion Yobes Ondieki.

"Athletics Kenya is right this time," Ereng told Reuters. "The athletes should be left to train here until the last minute.

"The Bristol camp will make them tired and expose them to unnecessary distractions."

The Olympics start on July 27.

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