Kenya expat runners not a threat - Kirwa

Vinicius and Tom Olympic and Paralympic Mascot (Getty Images)
Vinicius and Tom Olympic and Paralympic Mascot (Getty Images)
Cape Town - Kenya national athletics coach Julius Kirwa insists that he is not thinking about the Kenyan-born athletes who will be racing for other nations at the upcoming Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro.

The USA provided citizenship to three Kenya-born athletes, Paul Chelimo, Shadrack Kipchirchir and Leonard Korir, who are all soldiers in the American military and will be representing the States at this year's games.

"Their presence is not a threat to my athletes," Kirwa insisted to the Citizen Digital website. "They are well prepared and they are very motivated and eager to bring the medals home. They chose other countries over Kenya to look for their daily bread, which is acceptable.

"I do not have the luxury to start worrying about them or considering them in my training programme. Our focus is on grabbing as many medals as possible."

Chelimo will be competing in the 5000m event, while Korir and Kipchirchir will be gunning for glory in the 10000m race.

Meanwhile, Lonah Chemtai will represent Israel in the women's marathon after earning citizenship through her husband and trainer Dan Salpeter.
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