As usual, it was song and dance as traditional Kalenjin sour milk
Team Kenya to the just concluded IAAF World Cross Country Championship in Aarhus, Denmark arrived in the country to a heroic reception at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Monday.
The Emirates Airlines plane carrying the team touched down shortly after 2pm.
It's a historic team title for Uganda in the men's senior race!— IAAF (@iaaforg) March 30, 2019
🥇 Uganda 🇺🇬 20pts
🥈 Kenya 🇰🇪 43pts
🥉 Ethiopoa 🇪🇹 46pts
The last time a nation other than Kenya or Ethiopia won the men's team title at an #IAAFworlds cross country was back in 1980! pic.twitter.com/M75UIKwQD6
Among those at the airport to receive the athletes were Kericho County Governor Paul Chepkwony, Kipkelion East MP Joseph Limo and Acting Sports Commissioner Japson Gitonga, who was the only key government official present.
World Cross Country senior women’s champion Hellen Obiri and women’s Under-20 Beatrice Chebet led the team.
Geoffrey Kamworor, who relinquished his senior men’s title to Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei, had arrived in the country a day earlier.
Team manager Benjamin Njoga and head coach David Letting said the results could have been better as they picked great lessons from Denmark.
“We could have done much better but the biggest lesson we picked is that we should have sent an advance team earlier to survey the course that was the most difficult,” said Njoga.
“Our training didn’t capture the aspect of the hilly course in Aarhus that was extremely challenging.”
Njoga said in future they will focus on all aspects, including research both on the course and their rivals.
Njoga said that the country must appreciate the athletes for their brave battle, despite the challenges that they didn’t expect to face, especially the course.
#teamkenya -World Cross Country team jets back Home— Wish Fm (@Wishfmradio) April 1, 2019
Team Kenya to the just concluded IAAF World Cross Country Championship in Aarhus, Denmark arrived in the country
Obiri, who was welcomed by her husband and manager, Simon Nyaudi and daughter Tania, thanked Kenyans pic.twitter.com/xItxY82TvS
Letting said his charges were a marked team by virtue of being the defending champions.
He noted that their rivals Ethiopia and Uganda dispatched their technical team in October last year to survey the course.
“They too arrived in Denmark match earlier,” said Letting. “That is why they had an edge over us.”
Deputy coach Julius Kirwa said the gains made in training went up in smoke when the team
“We arrived on Thursday night and we only got to see the course on the eve of the race,” said Kirwa. “We had athletes with swollen legs because of the lengthy journey.”
Kirwa said staying in Dubai for almost an one hour waiting for a connection flight was a bad way of travelling.
Athletics Kenya vice President Paul Mutwii took on the government to in future provide the air tickets on time.
“We also need flights that are convenient to the team so that good results are achieved,” said Mutwii.
Chebet, who was received by her coach, Paul Kemei and parents Francis and Lilian Kirui, said she now turns her focus on Africa Under-20 Championships due in Ivory Coast later this month.
Obiri, who was welcomed by her husband and manager, Simon Nyaudi and daughter Tania, thanked Kenyans for their massive support.
“I promise victory too at the World championship in Doha in October this year,” said Obiri, who is the World 5000m champion.