Kirwa said they had tipped Chepkoech to go for victory since she was the strongest among the four Kenyan athletes. “We wanted her to stay within the pack with Chespol doing the damage,” Kirwa said.
“It was helter-skelter for our athletes after Jebet and Chespol fell back with two laps to go.”
Kirwa, who was lost for words after Chepkoech lost track before the water barrier with six laps to go before tripping to fall, said the athletes thought they had won it as they allowed the Americans to kick in the last 400m.
“Kiyeng was already tired and it was an exercise of futility going the last 300m with the American since they were strong,” said Kirwa. “The fall, loss of track and overconfidence ruined it for Chepkoech. It’s a learning curve and I hope she will do it better next time.”
Another Kenyan coach Milcah Chemos, the 2013 World 3,000msteeplechase champion and 2009 and 2011 silver medallist, said Kenya could have retained the title if Kiyeng and Chepkoech kicked as agreed in the last 600m.
“The athletes celebrated much earlier after Jebet fell back. They simply lost concentration and lacked ideas to hand the Americans glory,” Chemos said.
“It was just an awful display but I hope we learn from it that you don’t underestimate our rivals.”