The Success of Kenyan Athletes | Gap fill

Sports editor Linda Spurr investigated Kenya’s amazing success in middle and long-distance running over the past 25 years.

 

 

The popular story to explain Kenya’s great running success is that the children of the 

mountains have to run to and from school. That, I can now report, is true. ___ (1) it cannot

alone explain Kenyans’ fantastic running skill. One needs also to appreciate the nature of

the land where they grow up, their lifestyle and motivation.

Most of Kenya’s great runners come from the highland regions of the country. It is here, 

where the land is steep and rough, that the only method of transportation available is by

foot. And at heights of between 2,250 and 3,500 metres, young boys and girls acquire

quite naturally a greater aerobic capacity than athletes who ___ (2). 

But these natural factors are not enough to explain the Kenyan phenomenon. I think there

are two more factors that turn the natural advantage of Kenya into Olympic gold: 

opportunity and encouragement.

The opportunity comes through education. Only ___ (3) do youngsters have access to 

sporting facilities and coaching. There is no club system in Keriyan athletics as there is in 

America and most European countries.

The ___ (4)? That comes firstly from the teachers at primary school, particularly if they

themselves have had a sporting school life. Then they are keen to find their own stars to 

bring on. They stimulate promising youngsters to qo on to secondary schools where there 

is a well—developed system of inter—school, inter—area and national athletics meetings.

Businesses also play a very important role, giving jobs to many promising sports stars, for

it is only ___ (5) in Kenya that have the means to run sports clubs and organise

competitions.

 

1. 
A. For 
B. For example 
C. However 
D. So

2. 
A. Do not train professionally
B. Have left their youth behind
C. Live at sea level

3.
A. At school
B. In the cities
C. In the highland region

4.
A. A club system
B. Encouragement
C. Example
D. Opportunity
E. Prize

5. 
A. Companies
B. Foreigners
C. Government institutions
D. Sports Academies

 

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