Kenya missed out on its first medal yesterday morning in the Youth Olympics boys’ 400m in Nanjing, China.

Ian Mutuku finished out of the medal bracket at fourth position, and blamed his performance on not running in the right spikes which he said affected him, especially over the last 100m.

Mutuku was the first Kenyan in action as the finals started early yesterday. Having finished second in his heat and with the third-fastest time among the finalists, he was hopeful he would be in the medal bracket. Coming up to the final bend, Mutuku was in pole position to medal.

However, over the last 50 metres, he could not catch Jamaican Martin Marley, Botswana’s Karabo Sibanda and Bahamian Henri Delauze who won the three medals.

“It is quite unfortunate because my running shoes let me down. I was running in shoes that I got from one of the 1500m athletes. Try as I could, I wasn’t able to catch the Bahamianbecause my spikes were the wrong type,” Mutuku lamented.

He claimed that he had been asking for spikes before the team travelled to Nanjing. He added that they had no training or running shoes when they got to Nanjing and that when they were brought, the spikes were not the right ones for sprinting.

“If Kenya expects medals in the sprints then it is time facilities and equipment were made available. It makes no sense to run in 1,500m shoes in the sprints. Of course we will win nothing,” Mutuku added.

Three Kenyans will be in action today. Gilbert Kwemoi in the 1,500m final during the morning session and Jackline Chepkoech and Moses Koech in the 3,000m in the evening.

Meanwhile, Brazil’s hopes of producing a homegrown winner at the 2014 Rio Olympics began to look plausible on Friday when Matheus Santana won the men’s 100 metres freestyle final at the Youth Games.

His record-breaking swim stunned his rivals and endorsed the theory that the experience of competing in China would help in the moulding of future champions.

The 18-year-old Brazilian cruised to victory in 48.25 seconds — a world record for a junior swimmer and faster than Michael Phelps, Olympic champion Nathan Adrian and world champion James Magnussen managed at the Pan Pacific championships on the same day.

Courtesy of Standard Digital News


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