The Kenyan community, cradle of Olympic champions, welcomes runners from other countries seeking the best preparation for Tokyo 2021; Eliud Kipchoge provides food.
“Caught” with the best …
“Welcome to Iten, house of champions”, it is read in the arch that receives several athletes from around the world who come to train to fulfill their dreams, this year heading to the Olympic Games, but the Covid-19 pandemic left them trapped and Tokyo 2020 was postponed to 2021.
Easy to recognize @KzBelen in that platoon in Iten (Kenya), a town that is the birthplace of runners, 2,400 meters high and with just 5,000 inhabitants. A great adventure, with his coach @LeonardoMalgor and in preparation for @ Tokyo2020es. #Athletics pic.twitter.com/JKAWU4ESRD
– Andrés Pando (@andresp) March 5, 2020
Iten, located about 2,500 meters above sea level, is considered the mecca of track and field, and proof of that recognition is Argentina Belén Casetta, who traveled from Mar del Plata to train.
Would you like to train almost a month in the cradle of the champions of your sport?
This was the life of Belén Casetta’s film in Iten, Mecca of the Kenyan marathon cracks.
A special production, with video and photos.
By a server, at @ clarincom.https: //t.co/SYHoX14kCX pic.twitter.com/owmh8EMOUt
– Hernán Sartori (@hernansartori) March 23, 2020
Casetta went to Iten to exercise to be strong for the three thousand meters with obstacles in Tokyo 2020, after being finalist in Rio 2016 and in the World Athletics Championships London 2017.
How is Belen Casetta preparing for # Tokyo2020? With the best in the world in their specialty (3000m with obstacles), and in the factory of champions: Iten, Kenya, 2400m above sea level. The player from Mar del Plata is accompanied by her coach, Leonardo Malgor. pic.twitter.com/0u5j4EZZgr
– SportsCenter (@SC_ESPN) March 5, 2020
For the Covid-19 the borders were closed and she barely could take a flight to Ethiopia and from there to Brazil and then home, in a trip more full of adrenaline than an Olympic final.
However, not everyone could get out and several were stranded and sometimes savoring the food distributed by the world record holder Eliud Kipchoge.
The Indian Amresh Durrel He is one of the 20 athletes who are trapped in Iten, where he arrived to train for his five and ten thousand meter tests. “I love everything in this region, including local food which I am now used to. ”
Kipchoge was personally responsible for delivering food and if the fastest man in the world in marathon was already Durrel Idol, now more because he had the opportunity to meet him and talk with him.
The Bahamian is also stranded Oneil Williams, who has selected Iten for eight years and now He has been able to train according to the provisions of the health authorities.
“Kenya has the best long distance runners and I wanted to interact with them and learn your training techniques and I must say that my performance has improved dramatically since then ”, shared the Nation Sports newspaper.
The Estonian community also includes foreigners Roman Fosti, who came to enlist for him Rotterdam Marathon, same as it was canceled by the health crisis.
The deep contrast.
What is available to train at the Oregon Project headquarters (USA) and what in Iten, Kenya. pic.twitter.com/1RHWdQbNHg
– Lucho Runner (Lucho Mayorga) (@LuchoRunner) May 25, 2015
Other stranded are the Ukrainians Darya Mykhalova, marathon; Olga Lykhova, bronze medalist in the 800 meters of the 2019 European Championship; and Tony Hrabovskyi, a specialist in 1,500 meters.
Hrabovskyi He first came to Iten in 2018 and this year, with the proximity of Tokyo 2020, he returned and during training he was injured and now the reprogramming of the Olympic Games.
“I don’t need a lot of money to live in Kenya and that has really helped me and also supports me a subsidy from my federation ”, shared the athlete.
New track in Iten, Kenya launched with stars like Mo Farah and Paula Radcliffe (photo @SaddiqueShaban) pic.twitter.com/p3qOottmOb
– Miguel Villaseñor (@MigVillasenor) February 1, 2014
They already became attached to Iten, the house of champions, the mecca of athletics in the background and the place that during the Covid-19 has become his home.
(With information from Notimex)