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Kenyan Project in Russia is Closed

Our team finally abandoned the idea of ​​naturalization Kenyan runners, one of which last year won the national championship in the distance of 5000 m.

The order of dismissal of four Kenyans - Amos tents, Evans Kiplagat, Isaac, and Nicholas Kipkemboi Chepseby, from among the students of the Volga Region Academy of Physical Culture put an end to the project, which lasted three years. And, we are talking about the need for such an experiment any longer too inconclusive results were Russians in the medium and marathon.

Runners from Kenya, he is now all over the world under various flags, so why Russia did not take advantage of their help? Of the four who came to us, the greatest interest from the sports point of view represented by tents. Last summer, he became national champion in the women's 5,000 meters, beating nearest rival more than 15 seconds. Prior to the implementation of the standard for the World Championships in Beijing Kenyan did not have less than a second. Although to go there as part of our team in any case he could not because of lack of citizenship.

The project with the involvement of Kenyan runners under the flag of the Russian team from the start did not go as planned. The outbreak in Kazan study plus acclimatization led to what is in his first season Kenyans look even weaker than their Russian colleagues. Immediately there was talk that these athletes are not required. And the Kenyans had to urgently take a sabbatical and return home.

Having trained in a familiar environment, already next year Kenyans looked far more interesting.Kipkemboi Chepseba and dropped out of the project due to inconclusive results, but the other two were fixed at least in the number of winners of Russian competitions. And the tents could even set the national record in the women's 10,000 meters - although officially it counted, of course, was not.

Russian runners initially reacted to the invitation of Kenyans skeptical. And the definition of "grains" have their doubts: if the project failed, Kenyans would have taken the place of indigenous Russians in our team. But the transfer of experience and picked up our class stayers out of the question. Kenyans lived and trained at the mountain base at home and came to Russia only on the competition.

The new leadership of the All-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) in the present circumstances has decided to close the project. Our country is carrying a decent spending on tuition and residence of Kenyan runners, despite the fact that the Olympic prospects of the entire team in question. What sense to fund athletes and carry out a complex change of nationality procedure if it is not clear when they will be able to act in the international arena?

Kenyans, of course, become a definite loss to the team in terms of sports. But the International Federation (IAAF), and foreign journalists have been inflicted on the Russian track and field so powerful blows that the departure of a pair of Africans - less "evil", which is only now could happen.

"Kenyans have wonderful memories of RUSSIA"

Group manager of Kenyan runners Valentine Fedyushin said it is not averse to repeat the experiment with the naturalization of Africans in Russia in the future.

- Why four Kenyans went home?

- The Russian team is now in a difficult situation: there are sanctions, it is not known whether the athletes will be performing at the Olympic Games. There are difficulties both politically and financially.Therefore, the new leadership of the federation decided that the project naturalization Kenyan runners today is not relevant.

- But they do not have much left before graduation. Maybe worth already finish my studies?

- Guys year were at the preparatory department, which has been successfully completed. And then took a sabbatical to prepare for the Olympics. That is, they were still three or four years, no less. But once the project is closed, and to pay for his studies is now no sense. Hence the deduction.

- How do these guys apprehended event? For them now, apparently, even in plus avoid international sanctions that would impose a gun on them Russian citizens?

- Guys are actually three years old and so were under sanctions. We waited all this time Russian citizenship, and did not wait. Although it was very real, in December, we have been invited to submit the documents. But one of Tatarstan to resolve this issue will not without the support of the Federation. It was a great time for all kids wonderful memories of Russia, have friends in Kazan.

- What are "Russian" Kenyans are now plans, they will continue to run?

- Of course there are, but this is the next page in their lives.

- You are ready after the Olympics in Rio again to return to the subject of naturalization of African runners in Russia?

- I'm sorry that this project will not happen at the right time. Because prospects had been remarkable. If Russia would be interested, I am ready to go back to the discussion of a similar project, but with the other participants.

The leader of the Russian national marathon bronze medalist of the European Championship Alexey Reunkov said that the departure of Kenyans is not a big loss for the national athletics.

- I was initially against the project, - Reunkov said. - We have our own way, and do not compare Russia with the European countries, where people from Africa come from poverty and gradually naturalized.When the Kenyans will perform, then it just kills the interest in running endurance in the Russian team.At us and so with this problem, and the children do not want to go to section ...

- It was assumed that the Kenyans will be the "locomotive" and help you to the next level and Russian runners.

- Kenyans trained at home and came to the competition only. Nothing sounded original - supposedly they will work together with everyone, we have not seen. I think that would be better received on the contrary - have created an experimental group of Russian runners and we have organized camp in Kenya.

- Would you agree to take part in such an experiment?

- I think yes. I would be interested to see how the train leading runners in the world.


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