Moses Kipsiro was so eager to run that the technical team were worried he would have a false start in his 5000m race.
False starts are rare in long distance races, but under new IAAF rules, the first person to jump the gun in the sprints is out — no second chance.
The anxiety building up in Kipsiro showed Wednesday morning, when he led the race for a long time and became the target in the last lap.
“We still need to talk to him. The strategy he adopted for this race is not good and that is why he finished that far behind,” coach Gordon Ahimbisibwe said after the race.
Kipsiro, who fell in the 10000m race on Saturday and finished 10th, has not talked to the international and “local” press since then. Even today after his race, he refused to talk.
Ahimbisibwe defended his runner. “You can see clearly that he needs to concentrate. A lot of bad things have been written by you the press that are unnecessary when an athlete is trying to focus. Please for the good of Uganda, lets leave Kipsiro alone.”
Kipsiro finished 7th in 13:17.68 in heat 2 to make it to Saturday’s Olympics 5000m final. Abraham Kiplimo finished 15th and Geoffrey Kusuro 19th and they are both out of the competition.
The top five, and those with the best 5 times, qualified for the final. Kipsiro’s time of 13:17.68 was better than the time of the winner of Heat 1, Azerbaijan’s Ibrahimov Hayle of 13:25.23.
Only two Ugandans now remain in contention at the Olympics, Kipsiro and marathon runner Stephen Kiprotich, who runs on the final day, Sunday.
By Louis Jadwong, The New Vision