It is known to most of the world that Kenya and Ethiopia produce great athletes in long distance races because they mostly train on high altitude, which enhances stamina.
As much as that could be true, there are other secrets behind their success, according to Leonard Bett, who emerged winner of the 3000m steeplechase in the U20 category of the 2019 Confederation of African Athletics Championships which concluded in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, on Saturday April 20.
“Many researchers have brought forth the theory that the high altitude on which Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes train contribute to their endurance in long distant races. Some say because of the kind of food we eat, especially our flour meal. Some scientists claim we have big and strong heart naturally. All those could be true,” Bett told ACLSports.
“However, they always forget to add the most important factor, which is dream or ambition. Athletics is the dream of every young Kenyans, not football, like in Europe or other parts of Africa, or like basketball in the United States.
“In Kenya, long distance races are the deal. Every little kid wants to win a medal in those disciplines. They work hard for it. They pray for it. Their families support them. That is why they succeed,” he said.