Kenyan-trained NZ twin runners gear up for Olympics
Sat, 07 Jul 2012 6:48p.m.
By Olympics reporter Jeff Hampton
Kiwi athletics hopefuls have a last chance this weekend to make the grade for the London Olympics.
Among those competing are a sprinter, a shot putter and identical twin runners who have been training in Kenya for the past five years.
Identical twins following the same track in their bid for Olympic glory, Zane Robertson is a 1500m man; Jake does the 5000m.
“If I want to run, I have got a lot to learn from the Kenyans to run like them, to make a living off it,” says Jake Robertson.
The twins moved from Hamilton to Kenya five years ago, to the surprise of their parents.
“They stressed for a little bit, but after a while they realised this was the best thing for us in the end,” says Zane Robertson. “We're going to make our own money and we're going to do this anyway.”
They have lived in a hut and trained at an altitude of almost 2500m, cooling down with an ice bath.
Among their training partners are an Olympic 5000m silver-medallist, and the steeplechase world record holder. It has paid off.
“They're both very good chances to qualify for London,” says Brett Addison of Athletics New Zealand. “Zane has a second to make up in the 1500m and he's running this weekend in Belgium. Jake has two seconds to make up.”
It's tougher for shot putter Tom Walsh, who will have to throw an extra half a metre to take the spot Jacko Gill walked away from.
That's unlikely, and Gill is sticking to his decision to flag the Olympics for the world juniors.
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