Kenya returns to Olympic 4x400m men's relay
Nairobi, July 18 (IANS) Kenya will make a comeback to the 4x400m men's relay after a 40-year-Olympic hiatus.
At the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, Kenya won gold courtesy the quartet of Charles Asati, Hezekiah Nyamao, Robert Ouko and the late Julius Sang, reports Xinhua.
The London 2012 team, which comprises of Vincent Mumo, Alphas Kishoiyan, Vincent Kosgei and Bonface Mucheru, are currently training in low altitude in Bristol under Coach Bruce Lati.
Mucheru and Kiplagat are also among the first Kenyan athletes to qualify in the sprints in recent times to represent the country in the Olympics.
Team members are reportedly responding well with the training and the low altitude climate which is good for the sprinters.
Conspicuously missing will be perennial participants, Nigeria who are not among the group of 16 teams that qualified for the London Olympics 4x400m relay event.
Kenya, USA, South Africa, Jamaica, Cuba, Russia, Belgium, and Great Britain were named by the IAAF as teams that will file out August 8 for the semi-finals.
Others that the IAAF named as qualifiers are Bahrain, Germany, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Australia, Dominican Republic, Japan and Poland.
Charles Asati, the man who ran the first leg of the 1972 race told Xinhua in Nairobi Wednesday that it will take Kenya many years to win an Olympic medal, leave alone the gold.
"During our time, we put the country before self. Money was never a factor as we ran for honours. Unlike nowadays when winner receive monetary rewards, we were recompensed with blankets and the like. We however took it in our stride," said the 66-year-old veteran.
Asati also won gold medals in 400m and 4x400m relay at the 1970 Commonwealth Games and at the 1973 All Africa Games.
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