Kenya looks for answers in Oregon

The proud distance running nation of Kenya hopes to find a solution to 44 years of Olympic frustration when the African country holds its men's 10,000 metres trial in Oregon.

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Kenya looks for answers in Oregon
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Kenya looks for answers in Oregon

Fourteen Kenyans will line up in a special race at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting in Eugene, Oregon, hoping to get a step closer to becoming the first countryman to win Olympic gold at the distance since Naftali Temu in 1968.

Beijing Olympic bronze medallist Micah Kogo, former world track or cross country medallists Eliud Kipchoge, Paul Tanui and Moses Masai and world junior champion Dennis Masai all will be aiming for a top three finish and a chance to win in London.

"Optimistic I am, but I would not want to be naive," Athletics Kenya Olympic team manager Joseph Kinyua told Reuters when asked about ending the drought. "At 10,000 metres there are very many good athletes."

He specifically mentioned Britain's Mo Farah and runners from sporting rival Ethiopia, which has produced the last four 10,000 metres Olympic gold medallists, two each by Haile Gebrselassie and reigning champion Kenenisa Bekele.

Kenyan officials made the somewhat controversial decision to hold the trial in Eugene to take advantage of its low altitude and London-like weather. Other team selections will be determined in Kenya later this month.

"I don't think there is any problem," Kinyua said of the decision. "If you're doing one thing again and again and it doesn't give you the result you expect, it is only fair that you try a different method.

"Do you know the definition of a mad man? He is a person who does the same thing, the same way all the time."

Ethiopia has already gone out of country to pick its 10,000 metres team for London, doing so at Hengelo in the Netherlands last weekend.

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