NAIROBI (Xinhu) – Rend Lake College track and field mid-distance standout Boaz Lalang left Wednesday night for Athens where he will compete in the 800 meter run before returning to the Kenyan training camp in preparation for the 2008 Games in Beijing, Kenya’s athletics officials said.
Officials have allowed nine Olympics-bound athletes from Kenya to go and compete in Grand Prix races to be held next week in Europe. Lalang, 19, of Eldoret, Kenya, qualified to compete in the 800m run at the games in Beijing during the Kenya Olympic trials on Saturday. He is a multi-national champion in the U.S. while running for coach Brent McLain and the Warriors at RLC.
The soft spoken Lalang is quietly confident of doing well, reported the China View news network.
“The hard part was to qualify for the Olympics. Now that I made the team, I will work hard and do well in Beijing,” Lalang told a reporter.
Team Kenya head coach Julius Kirwa said they had allowed World Junior800 meters record holder Pamela Jelimo, 800 meters world champion Janeth Jepkosgei and Olympic 3,000 meters steeplechase champion Ezekiel Kemboi to take part in the event. Others to participate include world champion Brimin Kipruto, Lalang, 800 meters world champion Alfred Kirwa and Nancy Jebet Lagat, Sylvia Kibet and Vincent Mumo.
“We have allowed them to go compete abroad so as to work on their speed because after trials, they won’t get another chance to compete here. We have allowed them to go for one race and others two but they will then come back,” Kirwa told the local FM station.
Kirwa said all athletes will be back in Kenya’s training camp on July 19.
Lalang added he would love to line up against world 800 meters Indoor champion Abubaker Kaki at the DN Galan meet in Stockholm on July 22 where the Sudanese teenage sensation will attempt to break Noah Ngeny’s 1,000 meters record. Reports did not state Lalang will be jetting off to Stockholm.
“I want to get one more chance of running against Kaki before the Olympics just to study his race and tactic before Beijing,” said Lalang.